The workplace has been identified as a key setting for mental health stigma reduction activities. Recent research conducted by Dept. of Health and See Change found that almost half of Irish people would deliberately conceal a mental health problem from co-workers. 47% surveyed believed that being open would have a negative impact on a person’s relationship with colleagues.
SL Controls are committed creating an open culture around mental health. To help us do this we are currently participating in See Change’s six step Workplace Pledge.
Prior to signing the See Change workplace pledge, we created an action plan to achieve the six steps of the programme. Below are some of the steps we have taken so far as part of the pledge:
- Training workshops:
Our management team received the See Change Mental Health in the Workplace training. They found the training helpful and are now better educated and equipped to start the conversation about mental health with their teams. The workshops are fully funded by the National Office for Suicide Prevention.
- Mental Health in the Workplace Survey
We asked our employees their opinion about mental health in the workplace and we received feedback about the support our employees would like to see implemented. They also told us about things important to them to maintain positive mental health. The results of the survey helped us to shape our in-house mental health programme – Think Well at SL
- Policy implementation:
We created a mental health policy which outlines our commitment and responsibilities as an employer using a template from See Change.
- Mental Health Programme:
On World Mental Health day last October, we launched Think Well at SL. This involved a 3-legged Race to Stomp Out Stigma, a Be Kind to Your Mind poster campaign, Compliment a Colleague Week, and the delivery of mindfulness cubes to all offices. We also highlighted our Employee Assistance Programme by sending out videos and posters.
Still to Come
- The next step is to introduce Think Well Champions in the workplace who will receive training on mental health. This will give employees another support to turn to when at work that is outside of management. Employees may feel more comfortable speaking with someone who they know has volunteered for the role, received training, and can provide them with information.
- We will be taking part in Green Ribbon month, Darkness into Light, and World Mental Health Day.
- We have a Wellness Webinar scheduled for our employees.
Overall, we have found See Change to be a great support in helping us to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health problems. We encourage other organisations to take the See Change Workplace Pledge.