Harlow business leader and councillor say “More than a talking shop needed for mental health changes”.
Health / Wed 8th Mar 2017 pm31 03:28pm
IAN Hudson from Harlow & District Chamber of Commerce and Councillor Ian Beckett, Harlow Council’s Mental Health Champion have committed to do more to help local businesses rise to the challenges of mental health in the workplace.
On the day that the Institute of Directors (IoD), the UK’s oldest business representative body, unveiled a new paper, ‘A little more conversation’ designed to stimulate more debate and openness at a national level, the two Ian’s met up and agreed to start working on initiatives at a local level.
The IoD reports that large companies have adapted quickly to increase awareness of mental health and offer support to staff, but smaller, more stretched businesses do not feel they have the resources to do so.
Ian Hudson, said: “This is an issue, already on our radar, that I know our members would appreciate support and guidance on. Just today a new Health and Fitness organisation joined us and they’ve demonstrated how increasingly there is a need to address fitness of mind as well as body.”
Councillor Beckett believes that starting the conversation on mental health in the workplace is really important, as long as it leads somewhere. He said: “Removing stigma and transforming attitudes is vital but we need look at specific initiatives, such as Mental Health First Aid, that can really begin to change the way employers behave and lead to employees getting the same support available as when they are physically unwell”.
Councillor Beckett will be speaking at a meeting of Harlow & District Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday 10 May 2017 during Mental Health Awareness Week and hopes to use the opportunity to develop this initiative further.