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Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Office

One in four adults and one in 10 children experience mental illness, and many more of us know and care for people who do (NHS England, 2019).

The Centre for Mental Health estimates that mental ill-health costs the UK employers £34.9 billion each year, but simple steps to improve the management of mental health in the workplace will allow employers to save 30% or more of these costs.

Don't know where to start? Here's where we started - it's a continuous journey but every workplace should start somewhere.

Mates in Mind aims to:

•  Raise awareness and understanding of mental health and mental ill-health.

•  Help people understand how, when, and where to get support

•  Break the silence and stigma by promoting cultures of positive well-being throughout the industry

Mates in Mind has an ambitious goal - to reach 100,000 workers in the first year, and by 2025, we aim to have reached 75% of the construction industry.

They recognise that one of their biggest challenges will be in reaching small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) - but by working collaboratively through supply chains with trade bodies, they are confident that they will be able to achieve their aims and success will be shared by all.

Learn how Mates in Mind can support your business: https://www.matesinmind.org/.

•  In one sentence what was this course about? Teaches us in-depth skills for providing first aid to people who may be experiencing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis.

•  What was the most important thing you learned? That everybody is different, there are subtle signs and there are major signs and sometimes there are none. The important thing is to just be open, talk, and ask questions. Notice differences however subtle they may be. Remove the stigma.

•  If you were going to give another manager one piece of advice that you got from this course what would it be? There is no one sign that differentiates us, mental health is a normal part of life and we need to encourage those who suffer from it to thrive.

Why did you go on this course? Having suffered from my own anxiety issues recently in life. I want to share my experience of how I came out the other side with positivity and even if I can help one person through what I went through then I will have achieved something.

What's the next step for you to use what you've learned? Just to look, listen and understand what goes on around me more and not be so judgemental with the smaller comments people make. I want to listen better.

What does this mean for your team? Hopefully, I will be a better listener, and be able to help guide, and signpost people to help if required.

How long was the course and would you recommend it to others? 2 days and yes, I would definitely recommend it to people who have or haven't had mental health issues, we all have our dark days but it is how we learn to come through them that counts. If one person can help someone in these dark days then it's worth it.

What is your role in the business? Do you feel this course was appropriate for you? National Supplies Manager, and yes as a manager I feel it will help me with my own mental health but to help others.

Do you feel more confident to address Mental Health issues and Awareness in the workplace? Yes, definitely there is a broad range of staff in there from managers to admin so if we can get together maybe once a quarter to share if anything has happened then maybe we can continue learning.

Anything else you want to add? The course is definitely something that all staff should have the opportunity to take part in, even if it's just to manage our own mental health and recognise the triggers that lie within us and if we can learn how to work through these and talk more openly then we can recover better. Mental health should not be taken lightly, together we will make a positive change to conversations around mental health but we must also look after ourselves.