A new survey has revealed that two thirds of staff at local businesses are comfortable talking about their mental health at work.
The survey, commissioned by the West of England Combined Authority, also found that 35% of respondents did not see their managers take action after their conversations.
As Metro Mayor Dan Norris kicked off the wellbeing day of the West of England Jobs and Skills Summit earlier this week, he said: “A good job can really help people who enjoy working together as a team, giving a sense of achievement and self-worth and building their confidence and self-esteem.
“But we know the last 18 months have been really challenging. The pandemic has taken its toll on some people’s mental health from anxiety over finances to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
“Getting the right support at the right time is vital, and so is giving employers access to the tools they need to help their employees.”
Mental ill health remains the most common cause of long-term absence from work, while stress, depression or anxiety are responsible for 54% of lost working days every year.
Mayor Norris is urging more local businesses to get involved with the ‘Thrive at Work West of England’ programme, which provides managers with training to help them embed good mental health practice in their business.
Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind, said: “The last 18 months have been incredibly tough for us all and it’s never been more important to have a conversation about mental health.
“However, as this research shows, managers often lack confidence in being able to have these conversations, fearing they might say the “wrong” thing and be unsure of how best to subsequently support their staff following disclosure.
“The training and resources provided by the Thrive at Work programme can help equip managers with the skills they need to spot and tackle early signs of stress and poor mental health in their team, whilst building mental health literacy and confidence – an excellent resource for employers in the region.”
More information about Thrive at Work West of England, and the available resources can be found on the website here.