According to the NHS, one in four adults and one in 10 children experience mental illness. Whether it is family or friends, neighbours or work colleagues, the chances are we all know someone who is affected.
A research by health insurance agency Berenden revealed that with a half of employees feeling that their job had become more stressful over the last five years, a third said they had suffered from stress while two in five had experienced sleep problems. Just five in 100 employees working in the manufacturing sector revealed they had sought help from their employer to help cope with stress.
Recognising the importance of mental health awareness in the workplace and aiming to tackle stigma and improve the mental wellbeing of their employees, Carrington Textiles and Pincroft Dyeing & Printing teamed up to create the ‘Mental Health Supporters’ group.
The team formed by ten employees from different departments, attended a Mental Health First Aid course, designed to help raise awareness of mental health around the workplace and gain the skills to support those affected.
Using the tagline ‘Don’t Bottle it Up’ the Mental Health Supporters are launching their awareness campaign on 6th February in time for ‘Time to Talk Day’, a social movement encouraging people to be more open about mental health. On the day supporters will be providing colleagues with information about the support they can offer, as well as running an internal campaign for awareness.
Kate Barlow, Carrington Textile’s Commercial Director and part of this initiative said: “It’s time for us to change. We need to recognise the shift in attitudes towards mental health and implement an action plan that invests in our employees to support their well-being. The Thriving at Work report 2017 by Stevenson/Farmer suggests poor mental health costs employers up to £42 billion a year in the UK. Our aim is to increase awareness, knowledge, trust and break down the stigmas that we’ve all been trapped by at some point in our lives.”
Pincroft’s SHEQ Manager Andrew Meacher added: “Mental Health is an integral and essential part of our wellbeing. It has always been the elephant in the room. We all knew it was there, now is the time to create an environment that supports mental health and changes attitudes. Anyone can suffer from these problems, over a lifetime most of us will. The site now has 10 members trained to support employees in their welfare.”