Research by the HSE shows that stress is the biggest cause of long-term absence in white-collar employees and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has found that stress is the second biggest cause of long-term sick leave for manual workers. We are supporting Mental Health Awareness Week by providing the following information and links on workplace stress and wellbeing:
Employers have a legal duty to their employees to take reasonable care for their safety at work including from mental, psychological or psychiatric injuries arising from workplace stress. According to the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, a hazard can include “methods of work and other aspects of work organisation”. Accordingly, work methods or workloads which may impose levels of stress that are potentially harmful to employees, and to others who may be undertaking them, must be identified. Risk assessments for stress need to take into account workloads and methods of work which could place employees under undue levels of stress leading to mental or physical ill health.
In addition to the introductory guide on tackling workplace stress and a rather more comprehensive step-by-step workbook, the HSE has produced a Talking Toolkit for construction, which provides an important first step in starting the conversation about work related stress for those involved in on site working. There is also a more general Talking Toolkit covering all workplaces. The HSE has developed tools and guidance on a Management Standards approach which includes a stress indicator tool which is free to pilot for a maximum of 50 employees.
There is also a guide for employees on working together to reduce stress at work.
Mind’s Guide to Workplace Mental Health
Mental Health charity Mind’s dedicated website section on workplace mental health provides guidance to help employers take care of themselves and their staff. The site includes free to download wellness action plan guides for employers, employees and homeworking. Mind also publish key insights from their workplace wellbeing index, this highlights the benefits of being a supportive employer.
Mind also have a booklet available on How to be Mentally healthy at work, you can order a free copy using the code FREEBOOKLET at the checkout.
The Mental Health at Work website contains links to resources from multiple sources covering:
- Support for line managers, colleagues & staff
- Ways to assess my organisation’s approach
- Ideas to improve workplace culture
- Help to develop policy and practice
Crisis and Emotional Support Helplines
The following helplines provide emotional and crisis support for everyone affected by mental ill health:-
Provides emotional support for people 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. They allow people to talk about feelings of distress and despair and are confidential and offer non-judgemental support.
Phone: 116 123
(Freephone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Provides out of hours mental health and emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental ill health, including family, friends and carers.
Phone: 0300 304 7000 (Local call rates, 6pm – 11pm, 7 days a week)
The Helplines Partnership also has a comprehensive listing of organisations in the UK that provide helplines, which is searchable by topic: www.helplines.org
Mental Health Information Helplines
The following helplines provide advice and information on mental health, but cannot provide emotional or crisis support:
Provides information on types of mental health issues, where to get help, medication and alternative treatments and advocacy.
Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Local call rates, 9am – 6pm, Mon-Fri)
Rethink Advice and Information Service
Provides practical help and information on issues such as the Mental Health Act, community care, benefits, debt, criminal justice and carers rights.
Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Local call rates, 9.30am – 4pm)