Fife businesses have been urged to make a pledge to prioritise mental health in their workplace – and make sure their employees are confident to come forward and talk.
The call came from Just Ask, Listen,Talk, a Fife-wide campaign, lead by Fife Council’s supported employment service and supported by the region’s health promotion workplace team.
It aims to break the stigma surrounding mental health issue, and make employees feel comfortable about talking to bosses.
The call comes as part of Mental Health Awareness Week and was promoted at a forum held at Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, on Wednesday.
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Delegates were made aware of the Just Ask Listen Talk toolkit for employers which provides straight forward, practical advice and information about free support services that helps businesses support people at work or off sick due to mental health issues.
Angela Hamilton, who lead for the JALT team says, “Poor mental health is the leading cause of work absence in the UK, with around half of all long term sick leave due to stress, depression and anxiety.
“Stress is a known health and safety risk at work, and we are encouraging employers to address mental health issues in the same way as they would address physical injury or illness.
“This isn’t just about people with mental health conditions. We all have mental health, and we can all be affected by poor mental health on occasion.
“The Just Ask Talk toolkit will help employer’s recognise signs that show someone may be experiencing poor mental health, encourage them to ask staff if they are okay then listen and talk about support that might help people stay in work or return to work sooner.”