Stress Awareness Month at NCG: Our Mental Health Statement
The month of April marks Stress Awareness Month, a period where health care professionals and businesses across the country come together and raise public awareness about both the causes and support provided for those who feel stressed in their work and personal lives.
At National Care Group, we would like to let you know what we are actively working to support all our staff with their mental health and well-being.
Our Mental Health Statement displays the commitment we are showing to being a supportive employer that is working together to ensure we are creating an environment that is non-judgemental and caring for all our staff.
Applies To: Employees and Workers
Here at National Care Group we want to support our colleagues’ well-being, and this includes their mental health. We know that for some of us, talking about our mental health can be uncomfortable. But with research suggesting that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health issue every year – it’s time we started talking more about how we’re feeling.
Just like physical health, we all have mental health. Sometimes we might experience mental health concerns that last a few weeks or months, or we might have more serious issues that are longer term. Our mental health may change over time, just like our physical health does. The purposes of this Policy is to encourage you to talk about your mental health, to let you know what we can do to support you, and to give you information of where you can go for further help.
National Care Group on the 12th November 2018 signed the Time to Change Pledge, by signing this pledge we have shown that we are committed to working towards having an open, supportive and non-judgemental workplace to benefit all our staff. By choosing to be open about mental health, we are all part of a movement that’s changing the conversation around mental health and ensuring that no one is made to feel isolated or alone for having a mental health issue.
We’re committed to taking all reasonable steps to make sure that we:
• listen to you if you tell us about your mental health concerns
• keep information about your mental health confidential
• support you if you’re experiencing mental health issues, making reasonable adjustments where needed
• treating you with respect, not making judgements or assumptions about you because you’ve told us about a mental health issue
• help all our colleagues to be more aware about mental health
• train line managers to support employees experiencing mental health issues
• treat any issues of bullying and harassment in relation to mental health issues seriously – see our Bullying and Harassment Policy
If you’re living with a mental health issue, we know it can be a difficult step to tell people about it. But we encourage you to talk to your manager, so they can give you the support you need. You can mention it in your next one-to-one or supervision or ask to meet with them just to talk about this. Whatever works for you.
Your manager won’t judge you. They’ll listen to you and talk to you about what they can do to help. You might feel it’s enough for them just to be aware of what you’re experiencing. Or they might need to make changes to your work or work environment to help – there’s more information about reasonable adjustments in the section below. You can discuss and agree what will happen next.
They might suggest that you speak to our independent Employee Assistance Programme, to get some help and advice. They may encourage you to go to your GP for support, if you haven’t already. They might also ask you if you’re happy to be referred to occupational health or discuss the situation with Human Resources. This is so we can get more information about how your mental health issue is likely to affect you at work, and what adjustments we can make to help.
If you tell your manager about your mental health concerns, they’ll keep this confidential and won’t share this information unless you say it’s okay – except if we’ve got serious concerns for your safety or that of others.
If for any reason you don’t feel comfortable in speaking with your line manager your HR Representative or a Mental Health Ambassador is always available.
Making reasonable adjustments
There might be reasonable adjustments we can make at work to help you with your mental health issue. These could be permanent changes, or just temporary ones to help while you need it.
The reasonable adjustments we can make will depend on your circumstances, but the types of changes that might help could be;
• having meetings with your manager more often
• agreeing that we’ll tell you information face to face, so you can talk through how you feel about it – or that we’ll send information to you in an email first, so you’ve got time to think through how you want to talk about it. Whatever helps in your situation
• changing some of your duties
• providing a light box, or somewhere to work with more natural light – which could help if you have Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD)
• changing your start and finish times, or when you take your breaks. This might help you avoid situations you know are going to be stressful for you
• agreeing for you to work somewhere else at times if you need to
If you think you might need a change to your working pattern to help you cope with your mental health issue, talk to your manager about this. We cannot commit to able being able to make an adjustment, but we will try our best to accommodate this or at least provide a reason why.
Workplace Pressure Support Plan
Workplace Pressure Support Plan can be used to help you identify what keeps you well at work, what causes you to become unwell and the support you’d like to receive to boost your well being or to support you through a recovery.
Workplace Pressure Support Plan are a great way of helping everyone manage their mental health – whether you’ve got a mental health issue or not.
By creating a Workplace Pressure Support Plan, you can plan in advance what works and doesn’t work for you in managing your well being, what support you might need from your manager and what you can do to support your own mental health. If you do then experience a mental health concern, you’ve both got an idea of what might help.
There’s a template available from the NCG Intranet or please speak to your HR Representative who can provide you with a copy. You can either do this on your own and then share it with your manager or discuss it with them to put it together. Either way, once you’ve shared this with your manager, they’ll keep it confidential and won’t share it with anyone else, unless you advise they can.
It’s good to meet with your manager regularly to discuss your Workplace Pressure Support Plan and how you feel things are going. You can use your usual one-to-one or supervision, or just ask them if you want a catch-up.
If you need further support
If you feel that you are experiencing a mental health problem, we encourage you to talk to your GP about it as soon as you can, so you can start accessing support. You may need additional support, so remember we have an Employee Assistance Program who can help. You can contact the EAP in confidence on 0800 030 5182.
If managers need advice, they should contact their HR Representative or Mental Health Champion via email MHC@nationalcaregroup.com
Other sources of support
Able Futures access to Work Mental Health Support Service