15 Nov 2018

Mental Health in the workplace

Do employers, and in particular managers, understand that the company has a legal responsibility to take reasonable care to prevent issues surrounding mental health in the workplace? As a Mental Health First Aider I do understand this.

At Warners we understand that our Duty of Care and H&S responsibilities goes beyond simply RAMS & permits and providing PPE and appropriate tools for the job.

Look at the statistics; one in six British workers are affected by unmanageable stress, anxiety and depression each year, work related mental ill health costs the UK economy £26 billion every year through lost work days and lower productivity. Simple and inexpensive measures to support staff mental wellbeing can save up to 30% of these costs.

Mental Health is sadly still a taboo subject for many, with both employer and employee often feeling scared and confused over confronting the issue.

Personally, as well as professionally, I believe that the mental welfare of all within Warners should be addressed and I have made it my mission to educate all within the company and run an open door policy where managers and employees have the confidence to approach me (or other managers) and discuss issues in a confidential, comfortable and supportive environment.

We are beginning to see a culture change in how mental ill health is addressed and we are recognising the benefits to be gained for all, if a positive and proactive approach is taken.

We are actively promoting a working environment where employees feel that their mental wellbeing is not ignored or undervalued.At Warners we strive to ensure that employees feel included, valued members of the team and most importantly that they are listened to and understood. We aim to provide a workplace where everyone feels comfortable in communicating openly. Managers are the key, they must be accessible to their staff, empathetic and have the often-underrated skill of being able to listen without interruption, judgement or opinion.

A cared for and mentally well workforce is efficient, productive and loyal, an employer’s utopia, but isn’t there something more to this, as human beings, do we not have a moral and ethical duty to look after one another?

*Written by Paul Matthews, Senior Survey Manager – Land & Measured Building Surveys.