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Wellbeing in the Workplace

A new report from Breathe reveals British workers are still uncomfortable disclosing mental health issues or burnout, as 23% admit they would rather take an unexplained sick day than discuss their issues with their employers. The research also found that 40% of employees are uncomfortable calling in sick to their employer for a mental health reason, but business owners ranked mental health issues as the third most ‘acceptable reason to call in sick’.

The mental health charity MIND states that 56% of employers want to improve staff wellbeing but don’t feel they have enough training to do so. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), employers should consider how to manage mental health in a way appropriate for their business, which it says could include appointing ‘mental health trained first aiders’, providing relevant information on mental health, and implementing employee support programmes.

Exemplas launched its own wellbeing programme in October 2018; following the recognition within the business that workplace and individual wellbeing is inextricably linked.

After extensive research and consultation across the business and with the wellbeing industry, Exemplas realised that any corporate wellbeing programme needs specialist input. Elements of the Exemplas Wellbeing Programme are delivered in partnership with Westfield Health; who deliver wellbeing packages across the country. The programme seeks to support people to recognise and take steps to prevent physical and mental health issues before they arise; and provides a full range of support for those rare times of crisis. Through a package consisting of workshops, access to telephone and face to face counselling, investment in Mental Health First Aiders across the company, a telephone line to a GP service, online peer to peer mental health support and even access to corporate discounts to encourage and subsidise ‘down time’ activities, Exemplas has put people at the heart of their corporate objectives.

Sarah Matkin leads on the Wellbeing programme on behalf of Exemplas, and comments below;

“By opening up a dialogue between employees, managers and senior management team about wellbeing related issues; whether that’s mental health, physical health or issues that our staff are facing in their personal lives, we are working towards a culture of openness and acceptance.

Aside from recognising the reported links between wellbeing and productivity; we invested in a wellbeing programme because fundamentally it is the right thing to do. With everyone’s lives being more ‘switched on’ than ever; we wanted to enable our people to make informed wellbeing choices and have easy and free access to support. We have already heard about some very encouraging actions and changes to people’s lives so far, and the work continues to build on our programme in the future.”

Whether you work with 10 people, 10,000 people or just yourself, paying attention to wellbeing in the workplace has never been more important. There is a breadth of resources available with clear guidance for dealing with mental health at work.