British Safety Council Issues Warning To Government and Employers on Protecting Workers Mental Health
To: All Branches
The British Safety Council has warned the government and the business community that there are not enough provisions to keep people who experience mental ill-health in employment and has called on employers to commit themselves to protecting their workers’ mental wellbeing and investing in line managers’ mental health training. The BSC stated that the current government investment programmes and the education and training delivered by the leading mental health charities in Britain will help many people who experience mental ill-health to return and to stay in employment.
NHS England statistics state that only 43 percent of people with mental health issues are in regular employment, compared with 74 percent of the general population. Furthermore ‘MIND’, the Mental Health charity states that 80 days is the average length of time which young people have to wait to start treatment in mental health services. For someone who could be contemplating suicide, 80 days is a very long time.
‘MIND’ states that employers and their managers have a crucial role to play in helping people to open up about their condition and advising them on where to seek further help. It’s an employer’s responsibility to train them for this task. Staff with mental health conditions who felt supported by their line managers were 11 times more likely to disclose a mental health problem, in comparison to those who did not (MIND).
The British Safety Council has launched a range of online wellbeing resources including new training courses which aim to get employees thinking about mental health and talking about it, including ‘training for line managers’, which helps them learn how to potentially save someone’s life if they spot any danger signs and so far have delivered 100 of the training courses.
The British Safety Council has also produced a free, short, learning video to give people a better understanding of different mental health and wellbeing issues. You can see the video at: BritSafe Mental Health Awareness Video: https://youtu.be/a6ppbe_wYA0
Another short Video of interest to Reps is available in which Nat Miles from ‘MIND’ and Nicola Oliver from the ‘Centre for Mental Health’ talk about symptoms of mental health problems and how employers can build mentally healthy workplaces. The video is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BR8sUNjHHHM
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer