Last week was Mental Awareness Week, highlighting the importance of well-being at work and the role employers have in breaking the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
In support of this agenda, “Just: Ask, Listen, Talk” – a Fife campaign led by Fife Council Supported Employment Service and Fife’s Health Promotion Workplace Team – encourages all Fife-based employers to make a pledge to prioritise mental health in the workplace and make sure their employees feel confident having discussions with managers when they are affected by poor mental health.
Delegates at a Mental Health and Employability Forum held at the Rothes Halls on Wednesday 15 May were made aware of the “Just: Ask, Listen Talk” toolkit for employers.
The toolkit provides straight-forward, practical advice and information about the free support services in Fife that help businesses support people at work or off sick due to mental health issues. It also offers guidance on how to create and sustain a mentally-healthy workplace.
Angela Hamilton, Team Manager of Fife Council’s Supported Employment Service and lead for the J:ALT team said: “Poor mental health is the leading cause of work absence in the UK, with around half of all long-term sick leave due to stress, depression and anxiety.
“Stress is a known health and safety risk at work, and we are encouraging employers to address mental health issues in the same way as they would address physical injury or illness. This isn’t just about people with mental health conditions. We all have mental health, and we can all be affected by poor mental health. The Just: Ask, Listen Talk toolkit will help employers recognise signs that show someone may be experiencing poor mental health, encourage them to ask staff if they are OK, then listen and talk about support that might help people stay in work or return to work sooner.”
Alan Gow, from the Health Promotion Workplace Team said: “The J:ALT toolkit outlines the key building blocks of a mentally healthy workplace, and we are keen to work with employers in fife to help them put in place their building blocks and sign up to the J:ALT pledge.”
Click to download the toolkit and sign up to the Just: Ask, Listen, Talk pledge by emailing email@example.com