Businesses are being urged to make staff wellbeing a priority.
That’s the message on World Mental Health Day, today, from West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.
The theme this year is workplace wellbeing.
The trust says it has a number of measures in place to ensure its own staff’s health and mental wellbeing and has issued advice for anyone struggling to cope at work.
“As a healthcare organisation we have a duty to support our community’s health, but as an employer, we also have a duty to support our staff,” said Dr Helena Jopling, public health registrar at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.
“Ensuring our staff’s mental wellbeing also helps provide good quality care, a healthy and happy workforce and will also ensure the best service to patients.”
The Bury St Edmunds-based trust offers a number of support mechanisms to staff including 24 hour-a-day telephone and online counselling service, and a range of books on self-help and mental wellbeing topics in the library.
A new service called ‘Tea and Empathy’ has also been launched for anyone having a difficult day, offering on-call emotional support from a team of 25 senior staff.
The trust also has a partnership with a debt management service for any staff who may be experiencing money worries.
“We know our staff work in a high pressured environment, whilst they often spend their days caring for patients, it’s important we take steps to care for them,” added Dr Jopling.
To ensure staff feel valued, every month individuals are selected for ‘Putting You First’ awards, to recognise extraordinary commitment to trust values and patients.
It also offers access to an occupational health department and a physiotherapist for musculoskeletal issues and encourages the use of healthy transport, to ensure physical health.
It advises anyone struggling at work who needs support, to visit www.nhs.uk/moodzone, see their GP or call The Samaritans free helpline on 116 123.