Editor, Safety & Health Practitioner

Author Bio ▼

Ian joined Informa (formerly UBM) in 2018 as the Editor of SHP. Ian studied journalism at university before spending seven years in online fantasy gaming. Prior to moving to Informa, Ian worked in business to business trade print media, in the automotive sector. He was Online Editor and then moved on to be the Editor of two publications aimed at independent automotive technicians and parts distributors.
October 4, 2019

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World Mental Health Day

MPs get behind improving workplace mental health

Party conferences see groundswell of political support for the 500 employers pledging to take transformative action on workplace mental health.

Ahead of World Mental Health Day, which falls on Thursday 10 October 2019, more than 50 front and backbench MPs and Peers from the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties have pledged their support for improving approaches to workplace mental health.

The Home Secretary, Health and Shadow Health Secretaries, leader of the Liberal Democrats and the Mental Health and Shadow Mental Health Ministers were amongst a series of prominent politicians to have signed up to a Workplace Manifesto calling for mental health to be supported and protected in the workplace.

Approximately 500 organisations and employers, PwC, Ford UK, WHSmith, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and the Institute of Directors (IoD) have already made the pledge, along with some leading mental health organisations.

Simon Blake, Chief Executive of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England said: “It has been fantastic to see so many politicians, employers and business leaders signing up to support our campaign’s call for equality for mental and physical health in the workplace – and equally encouraging to see Mental Health First Aiders at this Autumn’s party conferences.

“Thanks to half a century of sustained work, physical incidents in the workplace have come down from half a million every year in the early seventies to just 70,000 today. We know that mental ill health causes 300,000 people a year to fall out of work, so when it comes to transforming approaches to workplace mental health, it is clear we need to be much more impatient this time around.”

The Manifesto is the latest development of the “Where’s Your Head At?” campaign, an initiative launched by mental health campaigner Natasha Devon MBE, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England and Bauer Media UK. Together campaigners are calling for employers to treat mental and physical health equally in the workplace, including by providing First Aid support for both mental and physical health.

The latest show of support for the campaign comes as all three party conferences have provided Mental Health First Aiders for the first time, building on each party’s commitment to ‘parity of esteem’ – equality between mental and physical health. In all, twelve interventions were made across the conference season to support delegates struggling with symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Where’s Your Head At? Employees are three times more likely to discuss physical ailments over mental health issues at work

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