Mental health in the workplace

September 5, 2018

Havant & South Downs College Principal Mike Gaston has spoken about the importance of promoting better mental wellbeing in the workplace.

At any one time, one worker in six will be experiencing depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress.

Mental ill health is normal in every workplace, and local charity Havant and East Hants (HEH) Mind has been working with a range of local businesses and organisations, including HSDC, to improve mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

HEH Mind has launched a short video giving feedback from Hampshire based organisations who have used these services to better support their staff and the public.

Mike Gaston, Principal of Havant & South Downs College was one of the first of the Hampshire employers to explain.

He said: “Taking action to promote better mental wellbeing at work is incredibly important. We need to make sure our staff have the confidence to understand and talk about these issues – as well as how to support each other.”

The organisation which employs nearly 700 local people and educates 7500 full time and part time students has implemented its new ‘people plan’ for 2018 and built a successful partnership with HEH Mind. As a result of its great and innovative work, Havant & South Downs College was recently awarded the Department for Education’s Chartermark for Workplace Wellbeing.

Anna Rowen, Learning and Organisational Development Business Manager, said: “The support received by HSDC staff from Havant and East Hants Mind had been life changing in some cases, while staff felt more supported and happier at work as result of the push to improve staff wellbeing at the College”.

Ross Borman, Development Manager at HEH Mind, said: “Simple steps to improve the management of mental health in the workplace, including prevention and early identification of problems, could reduce the impact on individuals and their families as well as costs to health services.

“It should also enable employers to save at least 30% or more of these costs associated with poor mental health at work – in the UK that could represent a saving of at £8 billion a year.”

Ross added “We hope more employers take the forward-thinking approach of HSDC and come forward and seek support from their local Mind or other organisations to tackle this huge issue.”