Agency nursing provider Local Care Force is prioritising mental health in the workplace, with the launch of a new initiative to help its staff maintain their own wellbeing.
The LCF ‘Address Your Stress Initiative’ has been influenced by this year’s mental health awareness week and its focus on stress.
The business, which has offices in Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester and over 50 permanent staff, will introduce mental health first-aid training, bolstering the existing support and well-being programmes they have in place for their staff. The training will focus on how to support your colleagues and spot signs of stress. Self-help provisions will also be highlighted, enabling sufferers to recognise the signs not only in others but also in themselves. Staff will also be taught how to manage and reduce stress based on the mental health foundations guide.
Workplace adjustments will include the introduction of a designated mental health nurse lead to provide support and signposting for all staff, and a ‘buddy’ and mentoring system will be put in place to ensure there is always someone for staff to talk to.
Wellness action plans to support the mental health of team members will also promote exercise and healthy eating, including free fruit and free personal training sessions.
Understanding what causes us stress and taking action to manage our stress levels is a key part of looking after our wellbeing, “Says Adam Silverwood, Head of Nursing at Local Care Force, “We are an agency which provides care for our clients and so this initiative is designed to ensure that as a business we are able to recognize and tackle signs of stress in order to help ensure and improve the mental health of the team. 1 in 3 people experience difficulties with their mental health wellbeing and 95% of stress related sickness is reported as a different reason by staff-mainly due to the stigma, so we are going to work on ensuring this isn’t the case at Local Care Force. ”
The business is also submitting an action plan and employee pledge to ‘Time to change’, the growing social movement run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness which supports people to open up to mental health problems. And it has produced a new mental health company policy which will include protection for all employees from discrimination based on the Equality Act 2010.
“Making it okay to talk about mental health and knowing how to open up about it is really important. It is staggering to know that 1 in 6 adults in Britain will experience depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress at any one time and many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless. This is why it’s vital that employers take responsibility for their staff and start creating more mentally healthy workplaces.” Concluded LCF’s Clinical Lead Nurse, Amelia Greenwood-Blott.