CIPD and Mind publish revised workplace mental health guidance

CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, and Mind, the mental health charity, have published a revised mental health guide for managers to improve support for those experiencing stress and wellbeing issues at work

The updated guidance follows recent CIPD research which found that less than one in three organisations (32%) train line managers to support staff with poor mental health. Mental ill health is now the primary cause of long-term sickness absence for over one in five (22%) UK organisations. A recent Mind survey of over 44,000 employees also found that only two in five (42%) felt their manager would be able to spot the signs they were struggling with poor mental health.

The free guide is designed to give people managers the information, resources and tools they need to effectively and confidently support employee mental health at work. Being able to spot the warning signs of poor mental health and offer the right support early on can have a significant impact, with CIPD research finding that, where managers are able to spot the warning signs of poor mental health among employees, the level of reported common mental health conditions is significantly lower.

Rachel Suff, senior employment relations adviser at the CIPD, said: ‘Mental health is still the elephant in the room in most workplaces, and a culture of silence can have a damaging impact on a business as well as individuals. This can include an escalation of someone’s condition as well as higher levels of sickness absence, presenteeism, turnover, conflict, and disengagement. There’s also the risk of potential legal action from employees who feel discriminated against.

‘The role of line managers in employee well-being is vital. They are often the first port of call for someone needing help, and are most likely to see warning signs of poor mental health among employees.

‘With the right capabilities and tools in place, they will have the ability and confidence to have sensitive conversations, intervene when needed, and signpost to the right support when needed. The positive impact that this can have on people’s well-being is enormous, but the business will also reap the benefits of happier, healthier, more engaged and productive employees.’

Bereavement support

Separately CABA, the charity that supports the wellbeing of chartered accountants and their families has announced a strategic partnership with bereavement charity, Cruse Bereavement Care, designed to help past and present ICAEW members cope with the death of loved ones, and the after-effects of losing someone close.

ICAEW members and their families are now able to access specialist emotional support for bereavement through the partnership for free. In addition, past and present ICAEW members will be put on a fast-track service, enabling them to speak to an expert within 14 days.

Kelly Feehan, CABA services director, said: ‘Bereavement can have a profound effect on individuals, and the support levels needed will vary from person to person. However, for some people the experience of watching a loved one die can be traumatic, and as a consequence there will be a need to seek out professional help to enable them to return back to normality.

‘Whilst life is never the same after the death of a loved one, learning to cope in the aftermath is key, and our partnership with Cruse will enable ICAEW members and their families to seek out expert help and learn techniques to help them move on.’

Cruse offers face-to-face, telephone, email and website support, including a support service specifically for children and young people. Its services are provided by a network of 5,000 trained volunteers. The partnership with CABA will consist of six sessions of ongoing telephone support for ICAEW members and their families.

Report by Pat Sweet

 

 

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