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Time to talk and take wellbeing at work seriously...

Posted by
18 Feb 2014

This month, Mind and Time to Change have been working together on a campaign to encourage people to take the time to talk about mental illness. The idea behind the campaign was very simple - people don't have to be experts on mental health to help people who are struggling. Something as simple as texting someone or taking 10 minutes to go for a coffee with them can make the world of difference.

People's lives are busy and managing the work/life balance is tough for everyone. The expectation from bosses is often to stay late to show that you're eager and want to progress whilst friends and family (and normally the employees!) want to have a social life as a reward for their hard work.

Employment figures are going from strength to strength and, with more people in work, it makes sense to take workplace wellbeing more seriously.

Not only do people work better when they're happy, but it also creates a more positive environment in the office. The government's response to this has been to pledge to introduce shared parental leave and allow all employees to have access to flexible working hours.

There are many things that can be done by employers to support the well being of their employers, from having an independent HR function to providing employees with information from ACAS so they know where to start if they do have issues. For managers, letting employees know they are there as a source of support can be a real lift for workers, even if they don't take managers up on the offer.

I'm a big supporter of the work that Mind and Time to Change have done over the last month. They provide excellent resources as well as raising the profile of a sensitive topic. Whilst employees may frequently discuss fitness regimes and their latest diets, mental wellbeing is often over looked.

Try and support where you can - even if it's just offering to meet a colleague for lunch. For the 1 in 4 that will have a mental health issue at some point in their life, it can be a lifeline to get them through.

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