Mental ill-health affects one in five people in Northern Ireland – that means that 20% of employees in the average organisation will experience mental ill-health at some stage. Learn how to reduce stigma in the workplace by creating a culture of openness where employees feel supported and able to talk about their mental health, if they choose to do so.

Mental ill-health often goes unmentioned because people are afraid of saying the wrong thing. Cited as one of the leading causes of absence from work, this issue is not something that employers can ignore.

Did you know?

  • Mental ill-health affects one in five people in Northern Ireland – that means that 20% of employees in the average organisation will have experienced mental ill-health at some stage.
  • When matched to 17 other countries, NI had the 2nd highest rates of mental ill-health issues
  • Prevalence of mental illness in Northern Ireland is 25% higher than in England

So what can your business do about it?

  • Reduce stigma by creating a culture of openness within the workplace where employees experiencing mental ill-health feel supported and able to talk if they choose to do so.
  • Empower line managers and staff with greater knowledge and understanding of mental ill-health; how to spot the signs, offer support before and during a period of absence, and how to welcome employees back to the workplace.

What is Business in the Community doing?

We are committed to supporting employers to tackle mental ill-health in the workplace and have produced a range of Toolkits for employers. Please use these resources or email Denise Cranston for more information.

Resources

Mental Health at Work Report 2017

Our second Mental Health at Work Report was launched in October. The report shows that while there have been some improvements in attitudes towards mental ill-health in the workplace, there is still much to be done to end the stigma around mental ill-health and the pervasive culture of silence that remains entrenched in the workplace. The report explores the crucial disconnect between senior leaders’ vision for workplace mental health and the reality experienced by employees. It also points to the crucial role of the relationship between managers and their staff, highlighting that less than a quarter (24%) of managers have received any training in mental health. Download the full report here

The Mental Health Toolkit for Line Manager

Developed in partnership with Action Mental Health and in consultation with a number of employers across public and private sector, this free resource has been designed for line managers. The Toolkit is intended to give you greater confidence to support an employee or colleague who may be showing signs of mental ill-health. The Toolkit broadly follows this model of before, during and after absence, and uses the Action Mental Health ‘Mindful Manager’ model of ‘Listen, Ask, Signpost and Support’ as a guiding framework. To download your free copy of the Toolkit, please click here

Mental Health Charter

Business in the Community supports the Equality Commission’s recently launched Mental Health Charter for employers and service providers and are encouraging businesses to join them in signing up. The Charter, jointly produced by the Equality Commission, Action Mental Health, Disability Action, Mindwise, Mental Health Foundation and Niamh, provides a framework for working towards mentally healthy workplaces.

Those who sign up to the Charter will undertake to promote good mental health which will be beneficial to their organisation, employees and the whole community in Northern Ireland. To find out more, visit: www.equalityni.org

For more information on how Business in the Community can help you to address mental ill-health in the workplace, please contact Nicola Thompson on (028) 9046 0606.

Contact: Denise Cranston