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New campaign to tackle mental health in the work place welcomed

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WARRINGTON mental health champion Mark Moran has welcomed a new campaign aimed at tackling mental health issues in the workplace.

Having suffered mental health issues at work in the past, Mark has congratulated Employee Wellbeing Specialists Rightsteps response to the Health and Safety Executive’s new campaign, launched this week, aimed at helping businesses recognise the signs of work-related stress.

David Lewis from Rightsteps said: “The HSE’s new campaign is timely with more and more businesses recognising the need to get people support with mental health issues early, before problems become entrenched.

“We are particularly seeing demand from SMEs who need to get cost-effective expert support to help employees manage stress and also businesses which have trained up Mental Health First Aiders who need the right support to ensure they don’t experience burnout themselves.

“Hopefully, the Working Minds campaign will result in more employers providing their employees with support to manage their mental health.”

Mark, a Peer Support Specialist, Research Champion for the NIHR and Volunteer for a number of organisations said: “Having been subject to discrimination in the workplace for my mental health conditions, I know only too well the additional pain and torment working whilst in a dark place can cause. As I was coming to the end of employment due to my ill health, I was approached by a manager who stated “You’re mental, you would know what to put in our new mental health policy!”

“Now that was long ago and lucky for the people who need their characteristics protected, the Equality Act 2010 is in place to do just that. I congratulate organisations like Rightsteps who have supported this within the workplace for many years. It is organisations like them that champion mental wellbeing in the workplace and along with many other volunteers within the third sector in Warrington, we have a whole host of free and commissioned services supporting people on their journey.

“Having worked with companies in and around Warrington, the CIC I founded, RISE North West, I became a CPD approved Corporate Mental Health Facilitator after completing a tough training regime by Danish company WeFocus. It is imperative we support people both in and outside of work, getting the work-life balance right and giving people the opportunities to work as required not only to the need of the business but for their own way of working too.

“It saves employers money too! on average the cost of poor mental health to “UK businesses a staggering £43 billion a year.” (Deloitte, 2020) When businesses spend £1 on improving the mental wellbeing of their staff, Deloitte also reports they save £5. This can include the implementation of Mental Health First Aiders, Buddy Up or a range of other solutions that are out there. Whilst these services are not a replacement for structured mental health services, it’s all about being given the opportunity and the safe space to talk, not to be judged but to be accepted in their concerns and then either there can be a plan agreed between the employee and their manager or they can be signposted for further support and guidance.

Mark added: “Sometimes people just need to be heard, just a chat and a cuppa could make the difference. I am a true believer in peer support and people who have lived experience becoming experts in their own personalised care. This is in line with the NHS Long Term Plan and local initiatives such as Integrated Care Teams, Social Prescribing, etc. It’s not just about the medication its about people coming together, helping each other through life, knowing when to get professional help when they need it.

Meanwhile, a nationwide survey by education provider Open Study College has revealed that 70% of men have not completed any form of education since the age of 30.
Open Study College, is encouraging more men to invest in their education to improve employability and career prospects, as part of a nationwide awareness campaign launched today, on International Men’s Day.
This coincides with the recent news that the number of job vacancies in the UK hit a record high of 1.1 million, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The research, which polled 2,000 UK males, explored the reasons behind men not wanting to invest further in their education and found that a quarter (24 percent) admitted to having no drive or motivation to study, while almost half (43 percent) said they didn’t think additional qualifications were necessary to progress in their careers.
The survey also highlights the need to do more to help with men’s mental health:
·Over two thirds (69 percent) of 18-30-year-olds polled said they have struggled with their mental health in the last two years.
·42 percent said they had taken up studying as a way of improving their mental health.

Samantha Rutter, CEO of Open Study College, which commissioned the study, said: “This new research isn’t surprising as only 20% of our own learners are male. We understand there are many reasons for this, a number of which highlight the differences between male and female learners. Men feel less pressured than women to give themselves every advantage to progress in their careers as they are not affected by the ‘glass ceiling’. Men are also less likely to take career breaks and therefore feel they don’t need further education, but in today’s competitive workplace, our research shows that it’s more important than ever to give yourself every opportunity to improve your employability and career prospects – whatever your gender.

“At Open Study College our ethos has always been to make education accessible to everyone, which is why we pride ourselves on our flexible learning solution, removing the pressure of set deadlines and the need to physically attend a school or college. We hope this research will shine a light on the opportunities available and encourage more men to take a leap into further education.”

Additional findings from the survey identified that younger generations put more importance on the need to gain qualifications:
· 92 percent of 18–21-year-olds felt that additional qualifications were necessary to progress further in your career, compared to only 38 percent of 41-50-year-olds.
· Even fewer (26 percent) of 51-60-year-olds said that they felt extra qualifications are necessary.

The poll also revealed a stark contrast between generations when it comes to further education:
Only one in ten (11 percent) of 18-21-year-olds surveyed had stopped studying after A Levels (post-secondary education), while a third (29 percent) have gone on to study for a Master’s degree.

In comparison, almost a third (29 percent) of 51-60-year-olds said they had finished their studies after GCSEs and only six percent held a Master’s degree as their highest qualification.

To find out more about Open Study College and explore over 700 distance learning courses, visit www.openstudycollege.com

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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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