By Carris Boast
Leeds businesses have been urged to address mental health issues in the workplace as they negatively affect job retention.
Mind and Mindful Employer, two mental health initiatives, were among the event partners to speak at Leeds Business Week. With one in four people suffering with mental health, they spoke about creating a healthy work environment to increase job retention, reduce costs whilst expressing corporate social responsibility.
Mental Health is estimated to cost employers over £26 billion because of sickness absence, reduced productivity and staff turnover each year, according to the Health & Safety Executive 2013.
Sally Hall, Mindful Employer coordinator said: “I think a lot of it is about busting through that fear and powering managers to talk about mental health with their staff and feel that they are able to do that with confidence.
“That can be through very practical strategies like introducing awareness training, or it can be through supporting attitudinal change and cultural changes like addressing issues like stigma in the work place.”
Mindful Employer currently works with hundreds of companies, some of which are British Gas, Yorkshire Water and Leeds City Council. Leeds businesses were told to focus on identifying the right support for the individual, to invest in personal development and learn from good practice to help obtain a healthy work environment and stabilise job retention.
Clare Addy, head of digital & engagement for Words&Pictures ltd. commented on her experience at the workshop: “It was really great to get different perspectives from such a varied range of people on how they feel about implementing wellness strategies into the workplace. The experts at Mind and Mindful Employers opened a lot of doors of awareness for me and there are some really nice things to share with my colleges and my clients.”