Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of your workforce

James Durie
Chief Executive - Bristol Chamber & Initiative | Business West
9th October 2020

Ahead of World Mental Health Day, we want to make the West of England business community aware of the support available for employers and their staff.

The coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown has put extra pressures on our businesses and our mental health and wellbeing. You may already know that 1 in 4 workers has considered resigning due to stress and 1 in 10 has resigned due to stress. More recently you may have heard about concerns from your staff about added pressures in their lives including financial worries, fear of job loss, bereavement, domestic abuse and social isolation. 

We wanted to remind you that there are freely available mental health resources and toolkits to help you and your employees to look after yourself and to support each other during the processes of change and recovery from the challenge of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Training and toolkits for your staff and managers 

• Thrive at Work West of England - A programme  offering regional employers help to respond to mental health concerns in the workplace. The package of support, including training and resources, is available through the West of England Growth Hub website. It includes mental health e-learning to equip managers with the confidence and skills to have supportive conversations with their staff about mental health and wellbeing, particularly in these challenging and changing times. It builds on the Thrive Bristol programme and was developed in partnership with businesses and key stakeholders.

• Wesport Physical Activity Workshops – Bristol businesses can access this free 2h staff workshop delivered by Wesport staff. It provides support and advice to employees on how to improve mental health and reduce stress through physical activity, particularly within the workplace.

Business in the Community toolkits - The toolkits include: Crisis Management in the Event of a Suicide, Domestic Abuse, Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco, Mental Health in the Workplace, Musculoskeletal Health, Physical Activity, Healthy Eating and Healthier Weight, Reducing the Risk of Suicide, Sleep and Recovery and COVID-19: Employee health and Wellbeing

• Mental Health at Work toolkits

Crisis and suicidal thoughts

Samaritans helpline

Free Suicide Prevention training Mental Health Crisis helpline

Mental Health and problem debt

Advice and support with debt

Debt and Coronavirus

Coronavirus Universal Credit and Benefits 

Self help and maintaining resilience

Every Mind Matters 

Domestic abuse

Everyone’s Business - is an advice line for employers to advise them on how to approach disclosures of domestic abuse by their employees, particularly in light of Covid-19, and to triage such employees into the appropriate local specialist domestic abuse services.

The West of England Combined Authority is keen to hear from employers as to what mental health services are needed at this time - they have a survey which takes 5 minutes to complete and closes on 16th October  

You may already provide access to various support schemes such as an employee assistance programme, mental health champions or have a trade union presence. We encourage the business community to continue promoting these services to your staff and to make use of these resources as you find you need them.

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  • Mental health and the workplace

  • The West of England Initiative

    Provides an effective link between private and public sectors to ensure the interests of commerce are considered in key decision making.