Metro Mayor Champions Mental Health in the Workplace
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, is championing a range of resources aimed at helping employers support the mental health and wellbeing of their employees, during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
The role of employers in promoting mental wellbeing among their employees has always been crucial but has perhaps become even more so during the Covid-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on mental health and wellbeing, both from the direct impacts of the virus and the unintended consequences of measures taken to control it, including isolation, school closures and widespread job losses.
The virus will not disappear, and some degree of social restriction will be with us to some extent for the foreseeable future. It is very likely that rates of poor mental health will continue to increase, particularly in the Liverpool City Region where, even before the pandemic, we had some of the poorest mental health outcomes in the country and high numbers of socially and economically vulnerable residents.
The role of employers in promoting mental wellbeing among their employees has always been crucial but has perhaps become even more so during the Covid-19 pandemic. Ensuring good mental health at work is good for both employees and employers, boosting job satisfaction, retention and productivity. This brief guide summarises what ‘good work’ means and how businesses can promote good mental health and wellbeing among their employees during COVID-19 and beyond.
The Mental Health at Work Commitment is a simple framework that builds on good practice and includes six standards for how organisations can better support employees’ mental health:
- Prioritise mental health in the workplace by developing and delivering a systematic programme of activity
- Proactively ensure work design and organisational culture drive positive mental health outcomes
- Promote an open culture around mental health
- Increase organisational confidence and capability
- Provide mental health tools and support
- Increase transparency and accountability through internal and external reporting.
Mind’s Mental Health at Work Commitments guide for employers during coronavirus builds on this general framework to provide practical examples of what employers can do to support staff and respond to the current coronavirus pandemic.
St John Ambulance’s concise mental health and wellbeing checklist helps employers track the progress their organisation has made to ensure that employees have the correct support and policies to maintain good mental health.
Employers will be able to access discounted Mental Health First Aid Training via the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Be More Skills Funding programme. More information can be found from the Growth Platform’s Skills Brokerage Service.
Speaking about the initiative, Mayor Steve Rotheram said:
“This past year has been an exceptionally difficult for all of us and, while there has been an obvious focus on people’s physical health, this pandemic has put an enormous strain on mental health too.
“I would really encourage employers to take advantage of the resources available to help improve the wellbeing of staff. A healthier, happier workforce is a more productive workforce too.
“I want everybody to know that it’s okay to be not okay. You are not alone. There is support out there and I hope that by raising awareness more people feel comfortable coming forward and getting the support they need.”
Acting Mayor of Liverpool Wendy Simon, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Employment, Education and Skills, said:
“The role of employers in promoting mental wellbeing among their employees has always been crucial but has perhaps become even more so during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The key message we have for employers is that there are resources easily available out there that can help you to support the mental health and wellbeing of your employees. That’s not just good for them, it is good for you and your business.
“In these difficult times it is imperative that we all take time to look out for one another and that applies to the workplace as much as anywhere else.”