Mental Health Awareness Policy Launch

          October 10, 2019

          RACHEL SEDGWICK

          You’re as likely to get killed by lightening as to be killed by a mentally ill stranger (one in ten million), but 40% of us believe that people with mental health are prone to violence. This kind of stigma follows people suffering anxiety and depression (1 in 4 of us), making it unsurprising people are so unlikely to admit to having an illness or get the help they need.

          Why should commercial businesses care?

          Other than basic humanity, we should care because mental health issues are responsible for 91 billion working days lost in the UK (a £45.1 billion cost to the UK economy). And because of extensive cuts in the NHS, employers are increasingly having to find internal solutions- 76.3% of private health care comes from company insurance schemes rather than individuals and there’s been a dramatic increase in company investments into wellbeing and mindfulness, so that even the most determined  denier could hardly ignore.

          Teresa May made a token policy requesting all schools have a mental health first aider on the staff, and this is a gesture increasingly replicated within large organisations and across the public sector. However, this is not enough. One person or even a small team of people, cannot be wholly responsible for the mental health of an organisation.

          What can we do?

          JDX launched a policy on Global Mental Health Day, 2019, stipulating that all managers, internationally, must be trained on mental health awareness. Managers must be able to identify signs, know how to best support staff and know how and when to signpost them. For years, JDX has delivered training to staff to help them build their mental resilience and wellbeing, but we hope that by empowering managers to know how to talk about mental health, we will be able to do more for our staff and our clients, and create a truly inclusive and supportive place to work.

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