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Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 takes place from Monday 13th to Sunday 19th May. As we embark on this significant week dedicated to mental well-being, it’s essential to understand the profound impact of mental health on individuals, workplaces, and society as a whole.

Defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realise their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community. In the workplace, mental health plays a critical role in employee well-being, productivity, and overall organisational success.

According to the HSE Executive figures for 2022/23 in Great Britain at least 875,000 workers were suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety.

Every year the Mental Health Foundation sets a theme for raising awareness on mental health in the UK and  this year will focus on the theme of “movement”

Moving for mental health at the workplace emphasises the importance of incorporating physical activity into the work environment to support employee’s mental well-being. It encourages employers and employees to find ways to move their bodies and minds throughout the workday, whether through short walks, desk exercises, stretching breaks or any other way.

Following the HSE figures stated above, employers have a legal duty to protect workers from stress at work by doing a risk assessment and acting on it. This is the same duty you have to protect people from other health and safety risks under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Managing Mental Health at Work

Here are some key areas covered related to managing mental health at work:

Managing Work-related Stress: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides guidance on identifying and managing work-related stress, which is a significant contributor to mental health issues in the workplace. This includes practical advice for employers on conducting stress risk assessments, implementing control measures, and developing a healthy work environment.

Promoting Well-being: Let’s emphasise the importance of promoting well-being in the workplace as a proactive measure to prevent mental health problems. This includes creating a positive work culture, providing support for employees, and encouraging work-life balance.

Training and Awareness: Employers are encouraged to raise awareness of mental health issues and provide training for managers and employees. This can include training on recognising the signs of mental health problems, offering support to colleagues, and accessing appropriate resources for help.

Risk Assessment: Employers should not only focus on physical hazards, they are encouraged to consider the psychological risks to employee mental health as part of their overall risk assessment process.

Legal Responsibilities: as stated above employers have a legal duty to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their employees, which includes addressing mental health issues in the workplace. HSE guides help employers understand their legal responsibilities in relation to mental health.

 

By considering the “moving” theme as a practical method for raising awareness regarding mental health at work during this week and addressing mental health as integral to overall health and safety management, your workplace can foster an environment where employees feel supported, valued and able to thrive both personally and professionally.

You can also use the link here to Mental Health UK for ideas and inspiration !

For assistance with any Mental Health Risk Assessments or how to protect employees contact us here.

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