TRAIN everyone to have conversations about mental health – that was the key message over 40 delegates from business and public sector organisations took from a Making Mental Health WORK workshop, hosted by Business South.
Mental health expert Lee Loveless, of Supporting Minds Consultancy, gave an overview of mental health awareness and its impacts on businesses. He also shared practical approaches and techniques to help colleagues struggling with a range of mental health issues.
Representatives from organisations ranging from Southampton Airport and Eastleigh Borough Council through to SMEs and micro-businesses took part in the event at the Grand Harbour Hotel, Southampton.
Shirley Anderson, chair of the Business South Workforce South Action Group, said: ‘Many managers find mental health conversations difficult and sometimes they feel that dealing with it might make things worse.’
Lee focused on two key areas: knowledge of mental health challenges and confidence in tackling the issues raised. He said 90 per cent of people with mental health issues will feel stigmatised by other people’s attitudes and, while workplace stress is a strong contributing factor, it is rarely the only issue for the individual.
Lee pointed delegates to organisations such as MIND, The Big White Wall and Business in the Community – and he concluded that managers need to share the load and ensure all colleagues feel confident supporting people at work when they are facing mental health challenges.