Network Event 22nd March 2016
Implementing changes can be difficult especially when it comes to ensuring they are integrated and embedded into a workplace environment. The network meeting had West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue present their actions and experiences on embedding mental health into an actual role within their organisation, follow by multi-group discussions on some of the more important questions led by Mary Holmes of Development Solutions.
Mark Dixon, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service – Occupational Health and Safety Manager
The West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service does far more than just firefighting; property management, finance, road traffic collisions and animal rescues to name but a few. Mark’s role within the organisation has contact with people suffering from mental ill-health, often during long periods of absence from their work.
Some of the mental health statistics may surprise you:
- Nearly 5,000 working days were lost in 2015
- Over 70% of absences were by non-frontline staff
- Frontline staff took over twice the time off when they were absent
Over the past few years, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service have been implementing initiatives and actions to try support staff suffering from mental ill-health. These include training, occupational health service and a welfare officer network amongst many others.
Mary Holmes, Development Solutions
The aim of the network section, facilitated by Mary, was to discuss and note ideas on some of the more prominent questions relating to embedding mental health practices in workplace environments.
The questions were:
- What are your key reasons for having a well-being strategy?
- What are the 1st steps in developing a well-being strategy?
- What is (would be) working well for you?
- What challenges are you facing (have faced) and ideas for overcoming?
- Ideas for engaging staff and maintaining progress.
By reviewing in smaller groups with different members, network members were able to decide which ideas may work in their organisation and take them away, hopefully to progress some of the initiatives in their workplace.
To review the responses to the questions, open the Network Flipchart document.
For more information on Mindful Employer, view the Mindful Employer Leeds 2016.
If someone needs immediate crisis support, check for contacts on the Crisis Card 2015.