IBEC guide to See Change at work

Workplace_1IBEC

Our partners at IBEC, the group that represents Irish business, today launched Mental health and wellbeing: A line manager’s guide, a new resource for employers to promote mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. The guide is directed at line managers, who are key to promoting a culture that is positive towards mental health and supporting individuals with mental health problems in the workplace.

To support the roll-out of this guide, See Change also launched “See Change in your Workplace” our free, 6-step programme for employers and employees to help steer organisations towards creating a culture that is open towards mental health problems and supportive of all its employees.

Speaking at the launch in IBEC’s head offices in Dublin, IBEC Director General Danny McCoy said:

“Mental health remains an area that many people do not understand or may fear, and as a result, it is not talked about. The effects can include loss of potential labour supply, unemployment, absenteeism and reduced productivity. One in five people of working age experience a mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression. It is vital that companies put the right structures in place to support employees.

“A recent IBEC survey of HR management practices found that over one-third of respondents had engaged in employee health screening in the twelve months preceding the survey. Almost one in five had a stress management campaign and just over one in ten had held a mental wellbeing campaign. Encouraging open communication is central. Very often employees are reluctant to seek help initially. Often, colleagues may be more likely to notice a change in manner from individuals experiencing mental health problems. It is crucial that organisations encourage a positive work culture where everyone is treated with respect and dignity and issues such as bullying and harassment are not tolerated.

“Mental health problems are not necessarily a barrier to effective working. In fact, work can play a very positive role in supporting individuals who have, or who are recovering from, mental health problems. It is important to remember that the vast majority of people with mental health problems are capable of continuing to work, for others, the right supports just need to be in place.”

Also speaking at the event, John Saunders, Director of See Change, said:

“Mental health and work are essential to each other yet See Change’s most recent research has found that the majority of Irish people would deliberately conceal a mental health problem at work for fear that it would have a negative impact on career prospects and professional relationships. This perceived fear belies the fact that individuals and organisations work better in open and supportive environments. This guide for line managers will give employers the tools to support employees and optimise the resources and talent of their staff.”

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