Challenges of Mental health and Staff Support Services in a large diverse organisation.
National context • 44% of reported ill health in the work place is attributed to mental ill health. • 1 in 4 people suffer from mental health difficulties (Mind) • Suicide rates among construction workers is 3.7 times above the national average (Office of National Statistics 2017) • Wales suicide rate has increased by 11%, whilst in the rest of the UK suicide rates have decreased.
Mental Health in the Workplace • Mates in Mind have reported the cost of mental ill health to employers as being £26 Billion per year. • This cost broken down equals £1,035 per employee in the UK workforce. • Some small measures could be used to manage mental ill health which could help employers save up to 30% (7.8 billion) per year.
Construction and Mental Health • In construction more workers die by suicidethan by falls. • Construction workers are three times more likely to take their own lives than the rest of the population.
Construction Culture • The ‘tough guy’ image widespread in the construction industry is very much to blame. • Asking for help and opening up about emotions are just not things that come naturally to many of those working in the construction industry. • The combination of these factors results in many suffering in silence.
Construction Apprentices • Research suggest that 75% of construction apprentices would not inform anyone if they were struggling with their mental health and wellbeing. • The research reported that Stigma and being told to ‘Man up’ would stop them from talking to anyone about how they were feeling.
Suicide • The most vulnerable at risk groups for suicide are young males and males under the age of 50 which will be the majority of the construction workforce. • One in three construction workers are at risk of suicide.
Suicide • No organisation is free from the risk of an employee taking their own life. • Within our organisation we have lost 7 employees to suicide in the last three years.
OUR FOCUS ON CONSTRUCTION • Corporate Building Services • Drop ins • Manager Training • Attending Apprentice Inductions
Challenges to improving the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Employees. • Stigma - associated with Mental Ill Health • Resources – Lack of resources to provide support services. • Lack of Employee Engagement • Not seen as a Organisational priority. • Unsupportive Organisational Culture
Challenge – Reducing Stigma • Name Calling • Not being supported in work • Team members becoming annoyed/anxious with employee. • Lack of understanding of Mental Health Issues. • Being treated differently. • Not feeling believed.
How we are reducing Stigma • Mandatory Senior Manager half day Mental Health First Aid course to Upskill managers in supporting employees with Mental Health difficulties. • A team of 30 volunteers who work throughout the organisation reducing stigma and promoting wellbeing. • Raise awareness of the Organisations responsibilities through our Mental Health Policy and Managers Guidance.
Challenge - Resources • Not enough resource available to meet demand. • Unable to be innovative/creative. • No room to grow and develop. • High Waiting lists. • Safeguarding Issues.
How we increased Resources. • Recruited Volunteers. • Started to work in collaboration with other organisations/services to produce and deliver services. • Student counselling placements offering counselling sessions at no cost. • Linked with Universities to enable research projects to deliver parts of the service. • More IT based interventions.
Expanding current resources/IT • Developing online resources to help support more employees • Short 3 minute films covering specific areas e.g. Sleep Hygiene, first aid kits, relaxation etc. • Standard training providing using Lightboard technology • Helpful links to deal with specific issues e.g. depression and anxiety • Developing a greater online presence • Online counselling blogs (to become a more informative service).
Challenge - Employee Engagement • Service not being used. • Service not trusted. • Service seen as a way of disciplining staff.
How we are increased Employee Engagement • Came away from being part of HR structure • Set up an Email address straight into our volunteer service Helping Hands. (80 per month) • Held focus groups with employees to find out what they wanted from the service. • Hold regular roadshows to promote the services. • Hold Drop in’s at particular isolated areas.
Encouraging Engagement • Developed wellbeing workshops (400 attendees per month) • Volunteers are employees so can spread the word widely in the organisation. • Chief Executive authorised for employees to be able to attend wellbeing workshops during work time. • Supporting managers and delivering team workshops/training built up visibility of the service.
Challenge - Not seen as an organisational priority. • Unfortunately if the Mental health and Wellbeing of employees is not seen as an Organisational priority there will be less resource, less innovation and employee engagement and the culture within an organisation will not change..
How we are prioritising Mental Health and Wellbeing • Chief executive authorised employees to attend wellbeing workshops in work time. • Mental Health Policy • Managers Guidance for Mental Health • Mandatory Mental Health First Aid Training for Senior Managers. • Wellbeing Working Group • Supporting the Helping Hands and Bully Buddies Services.
Challenge - Unsupportive organisational culture • Employees with mental health difficulties are seen as difficult, hard to manage, stressful, scary, unproductive. • Employees with mental health difficulties need to ‘MAN UP’ ‘GET ON WITH IT’ • WOULD YOU SAY THE SAME TO SOMEONE WITH A BROKEN LEG?
Developing a supportive organisational culture. • Train all Directors and senior managers in Mental Health First Aid • Develop a Mental Health policy and guidance documents. • Sign Time to Change Pledge. • Employees engaged in the development and delivery of the mental health and wellbeing services within the organisation.
Culture • By promoting cultures of positive wellbeing we are overcoming the stigma and silence around mental health, and we are helping people to understand what support they can receive.
Visibility • Being Visible within the organisation is one of the most important parts of developing support services within an organisation. • Experience tells us that the more people that meet you or are aware of who you are the more your engagement will increase and employees will refer in.
What do our Mental Health and Wellbeing Services Look like. • 1-2-1 Counselling of Employees. • Supporting Managers • Helping Hands Service • Bully Buddies Service • Helping Paws Service • Mental Health First Aid Training for Senior Managers. • Stress Workshops and Stress Risk Assessments • Critical Incident Debriefing • Wellbeing Awareness Events.
1-1 Counselling Service • The service offers 1-1 counselling to the 9,000 employees within the organisation. • Employees can self refer, be referred by Occupational Health, Managers, Unions or Family members. • We have a total of 17 counsellors within the service including students and external counsellors.
Supporting Managers • The service supports managers who may be experiencing high stress levels themselves or with their team or an employee. • The service will support managers via telephone support or one to one meetings. • The team is experienced and qualified to offer consultative supervision to managers.
Helping Hands Service • The Helping Hands service has over 20 employee volunteers who give their time to support other employees going through difficult times. • The service provides a telephone support service, one to one support sessions along with wellbeing workshops that employees can attend in work time.
Wellbeing Workshops • We have a number of Wellbeing Workshops most of which have been asked for by employees. • Therapy Garden, Pilates, Yoga, Tai chi, Choir, Running Club, Mindfulness, Family weekend sessions (nature), Wellbeing weekends.
Bully Buddies Service • Our Bully Buddies Service supports employees who are either experiencing perceived bullying or are being accused of being a bully. • We have 12 Bully Buddy employee volunteers who can support via telephone or offer one to one support sessions.
Helping Paws Service • A new service with the organisation which has been evaluated as a great tool to reduce stress within the organisation. • We currently have three fully assessed Therapy Dogs within the service.
Mental Health First Aid Training • All Senior managers within the organisation have to attend a mandatory half day bespoke Mental Health First Aid course to increase their knowledge and confidence in supporting employees experiencing mental health difficulties.
Stress Workshops • Stress workshops can be delivered to teams experiencing high levels of stress to teach them the signs and symptoms of stress and the tools and techniques to reduce their stress levels.
Stress Risk Assessments • Stress Risk Assessment is a management tool used by the HSE to manage stressors in the workplace. • Teams can ask for a stress risk assessment which will be facilitated with the team and a recommended action report will then be sent through to the manager.
Critical Incident Debriefing • Critical Incident Debrief are delivered within 48 hours of an employee or team experiencing a Traumatic Incident. • These could be serious accidents, death, attacks, suicide.
Wellbeing Awareness Events • Talks from outside agencies • Health Fairs • Wellbeing events yearly calender. • Wellbeing Roadshows.
Volunteers • Volunteers are the life blood of our services without our dedicated volunteers our services would not be available to support our staff. • We are only a Corporate Team of 3. • Our service is extremely good value for money and our model is sustainable.
Internal Services • In our experience Internal services are best placed to support employees and managers in an organisation. • The only way to reduce the challenges are to build employee engagement and be innovative in delivering what the employees feel that they need.
Benefits of In-house Service • A flexible resource which can be used outside of a therapeutic context (Consultative Supervision and team dynamics) • Help support difficult situations e.g. suicide, CMHT’s, Safeguarding substance misuse etc. • Collaboratively help develop organisational policies • Development of in-house bespoke training reduced costs.
Benefits of In-House Service) • Provide opportunities for training therapists / students / research • A mental health professional as a resource to support your department. • Help provide Stress Risk Assessments when place in complex situations.
Future of service • More engagement with Construction departments. • Mindfulness legotherapy. • Development of augmented reality services. • Increasing research student placements. • Increased therapeutic groups e.g. stress management, relaxation etc.