LOCAL businesses are better equipped to tackle mental ill health in the workplace, thanks to an informal and educational event hosted by local charities - Teamwork Trust and Enable.
Over 70 delegates from businesses countywide attended the Mental Wellness for your Business event, as part of national Mental Health Awareness Week in May.
Guests heard an emotive and inspiring presentation from Linda, who spoke about how she has overcome mental ill health and is now working with Teamwork Trust to help shape and improve services for others. There was also a range of informative presentations from experts and prominent business leaders, including representatives from Wilson Browne Solicitors, Kettering Business Network and Gateway HR.
John Bruce, strategic director at Teamwork Trust, said: "Having the opportunity to co-host this event with such a great panel of speakers and people, some of whom have experienced mental ill health, has highlighted how it affects lives. It's been tremendous to see so many people and to hear from delegates that they now feel able to support their staff as a result of what they have learned."
Jenny Laskey, partner at Wilson Browne Solicitors said: "As a firm we have put mental health and wellbeing as a much higher priority, and undertaken training which we think is absolutely vital to us being able to support our staff in the workplace - not just so they're more productive in their role, but to also ensure they're able to get more out of their lives."
During the event, Enable also launched a new training package, licensed and accredited by Mental Health First Aid England, which offers local employers the opportunity to become Mental Health First Aiders in the workplace - a new qualification which may become a legal requirement as the government raises the profile and importance of supporting individuals in the workplace.
Ian Newton, CEO for Enable, said: "You can't see when someone is struggling with their mental health and people are often less sympathetic when an issue is raised, particularly at work. Yet billions of pounds are lost from the UK economy in staff sickness relating to mental ill health, which makes it a real business issue. We're delighted to have worked alongside our colleagues at Teamwork Trust to help local businesses recognise and understand the signs, and to give them tools to empower and support their employees in the future."