Enhancing Workplace Mental Health: Initiatives During Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

Blanchards Bailey is committed to ensuring good mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. As part of this, the firm is joining others in supporting Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 initiated by The Mental Health Foundation during the week of 13 May 2024, particularly around the theme of Movement: Moving More for Our Mental Health.

Jane Cordner – Head of HR Services – Head of HR Services provides expert advice to business clients on how they can best look after their employees mental health and offers examples of mental health support the firm puts into practice.

Understanding the Importance of Mental Health in Modern Workplaces

Looking after your employees' wellbeing should now, more than ever, be a key priority. Modern-day life pressures, coupled with challenges presented by the cost-of-living crisis, have left many feeling anxious, lonely, and depressed.

Signs of this in the workplace include decreased productivity. morale problems, lack of engagement, absenteeism, presenteeism, complaints of tiredness, complaints of aches and pains, and alcohol/drug misuse.

Effective Strategies for Enhancing Employee Wellbeing

The good news is that there are several tools and strategies employers can adopt to proactively manage health and wellbeing in the workplace. These include:

  • Ensuring you have a wellbeing policy
  • Developing a supportive culture by training mental health first aiders and mental health champions, educating line managers in recognising the symptoms of anxiety and stress, and running self-awareness workshops for staff
  • Providing easily accessible resources for staff which include self-help information as well as useful telephone numbers and links to websites where they can find additional support
  • Providing access to an employee assistance programme which includes advice for maintaining and improving health as well as a counselling service that can be accessed free of charge
  • Signing up to the Wellbeing Charter or other recognised mental health champions to access current research and training
  • Carrying out regular staff surveys/stress audits to retain awareness of the overall mental wellbeing of your workforce

Examples of Mental Health Support for Employees

Blanchards Bailey has worked hard to build a supportive internal culture over several years. Actions taken during this time include:

  • Committing to the Wellbeing Charter
  • Sourcing an Employee Assistance Programme that not only supports ongoing good physical health but also provides an online resource base for mental health, which includes an option of attending up to eight free counselling sessions
  • Investing in mental health champions who have been given formal mental health awareness training
  • Developing a set of mental health resources and signposting for staff to access
  • Delivering mental well-being sessions to all staff
  • Ensuring opportunities for informal networking and teamwork are provided across the firm

We also recognise that staff increasingly value the option to work flexibly in terms of either their working hours or location to maintain a healthy work/life balance. We strongly support this and have worked hard to introduce and embed working practices that facilitate flexible working, whilst ensuring we can maintain high-quality services for our clients.

How We Can Help

For expert guidance or consultation on developing employment policies for your business, please contact Jane Cordner or our Employment Services team at 01258459361, or visit our Employment Services webpage.  

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