Supporting Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing
Great schools understand the importance of staff mental health and wellbeing. Staff who feel better cared for and supported will ultimately feel able to contribute more with a positive impact on productivity.
Gloucestershire County Council’s Occupational Health team is responsible for the health and wellbeing of staff and employees working within school and FE settings. All of the Occupational Health Advisers have specialist nursing qualifications and are able to give advice to staff and head teachers about a range of issues regarding fitness to work.
The Wellbeing Charter
Your school could consider signing up to the Wellbeing Charter. Signing up to the charter demonstrates a commitment to the health and wellbeing of the workforce. Evidence shows that organisations that implement well-being programmes benefit from reduced sickness absence, improved productivity and reduced staff turnover.
MINDFUL EMPLOYER is an NHS initiative to support employers to support mental wellbeing at work. The website provides businesses and organisations with easier access to information and support for staff who experience stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions.
Local Best Practice Example
Severn Vale School - Peer Support
Severn Vale School was part of the University of Bristol’s WISE (Well-Being In Secondary Education) research programme. The outcome of this was the development of a Peer Support group for staff. The Peer Supporters received intensive training on the Mental Health First Aid course enabling them to feel confident in signposting colleagues to help for mental health issues. It has been used for a wide range of support from tea and sympathy to emergency response to diagnosed. Click here to read the full report.
Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA)
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has today published new guidance on the role of the Mental Health First Aider in the workplace.
Your new guidance: This best-practice guide, 'Being a Mental Health First Aider: Your guide to the role', is now available to download and replaces and enhances our previous 'Role of the Mental Health First Aider' guide. Please feel free to share this with your employer and any colleagues.
- It has been designed to support and empower anyone qualified in Mental Health First Aid skills to perform their role safely and effectively in the workplace.
- It will support you to understand the boundaries and responsibilities of your role and also gives advice on engaging with your employer.
- The guide focuses mainly on the Mental Health First Aider role but also covers MHFA Champion and Mental Health Aware roles.
- Please note that your employer may be in the process of creating, or may have already created, a bespoke policy around this, so be sure to check in with them before using and promoting this guide if you are a Mental Health First Aider or MHFA Champion in your place of work.
Guidance for employers: Alongside this, a new guide for employers, 'Implementing Mental Health First Aiders: Guide for employers', has also been published. This will support employers in understanding how to effectively implement Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England training in the workplace as part of a 'whole organisation' approach to mental health. Please also feel free to share this guide with your employer.
Thriving at Work and HSE's new guidance: By providing this new guidance we hope to support both Mental Health First Aiders and employers all over the country in meeting some of the six core standards for a mentally health workplace as set out in the Government’s Thriving at Work report; specifically the standards around raising mental health awareness and encouraging conversation about the support available. This new guidance will also support you and your employer in using the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE’s) updated First Aid needs assessment. This guidance now suggests that your employer may wish to appoint ‘mental health trained first aiders’ as part of their first aid needs provision. Our guidance will help employers to understand how MHFA England training can help provide those skills. Make some noise should you wish to support the launch of the guidance on social media this week, please see below some suggested posts.
- @MHFAEngland has launched new guidance to support employers to implement #MentalHealthFirstAid training and support Mental Health First Aiders in their role. Find out more here: bit.ly/MHFAGuidance #MHFAGuidance
- @H_S_E recommends that all workplaces have ‘mental health trained first aiders’. Wondering how to implement this in your workplace? @MHFAEngland has launched new best-practice guidance for employers and employees. Get it here ➡️ bit.ly/MHFAGuidance #MHFAGuidance
We hope these guides will be valuable resources for you, and we look forward to seeing them have a real impact as we work together to ensure everyone has access to someone trained in MHFA skills in their workplace. If you have any questions about this new guidance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Education Support is a UK charity dedicated to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of teachers and education staff in schools, colleges and universities. They provide confidential advice, counselling, and coaching to education staff who require support. The charity can provide financial assistance to those experiencing financial problems caused by unemployment, ill health or personal injury, sudden life changes, and bereavement.
Education Support publish comprehensive research about the mental health of teachers and education staff. A broad range of resources for supporting staff wellbeing are available on their website: https://www.educationsupport.org.uk/
Contact their helpline: 08000 562 561
Tagged under: mental health, MHFA England, Thriving at work, mental health first aid, staff, wellbeing, teachers, occupational health, wellbeing charter, mindful employer, best practice, peer support, University of Bristol, wise, education support, FE, further education, fitness to work, helpline
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