Our commitment to supporting mental health and wellbeing
09 October 2020
In this blog, our health and wellbeing business partner, Jess Bell, explains Sciensus’ commitment to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our colleagues and others in our local community.
Supporting and promoting the mental health and wellbeing of our colleagues is something we, as an organisation, take very seriously. In 2018 we signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge to demonstrate our commitment to changing the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.
As part of this pledge, we have adopted the Time to Change Employer Action Plan and follow its seven core standards that include developing mental health awareness, encouraging conversations around mental health, and promoting effective people leadership.
In addition, we are committed to supporting our local community and we have extended our work in training colleagues as mental health first aiders to others in the local area.
Mental health and wellbeing support for colleagues
We understand that stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues can be commonplace, and we believe it is essential to ensure that our colleagues have the support they need to do their work effectively, for the benefit of themselves as well as the patients we treat.
That’s why we work hard to implement the Time to Change standards throughout the organisation from working with executives, educating our leaders, and making our policies user friendly to implementing tools to help our colleagues function at their best.
These tools include Wellness Action Plans (WAP) to give those who are experiencing mental ill health the confidence to ask for help. The plans include questions that help colleagues understand what support would benefit them and how they can ask their leaders for the help they need.
We educate our leaders to support their team members by asking what they can do to help and to direct them to our online referral process for mental health and wellbeing support should they need it. Up to 10% of our colleagues have received support in this way and we continue to promote this service across the organisation.
This year, in response to the Covid-19 crisis, we have also implemented wellbeing surveys to understand our colleagues needs and provide the most effective support during this time.
Mental health first aid training
Our mental health first aid training can be applied for by all Sciensus colleagues. To date, training has been delivered to 76 team members both face to face and, since the Covid-19 crisis began, through online sessions.
The sessions give team members the skills to provide initial help to a fellow colleague showing symptoms of mental ill health. They are trained to know what symptoms to look out for and to support others after first keeping themselves emotionally safe. Mental health first aiders encourage and support people to get help if they want it from professionals, family, friends, charities, online forums or through other appropriate avenues.
Supporting the local community
Sciensus is dedicated to giving back and supporting our local Burton upon Trent community as part of our corporate social responsibility. We work very closely with charities, the local YMCA, and local schools and we offer free mental health first aid training to enable support workers and teachers to help others.
We are currently supporting two local multi-academy trusts that operate between them up to 30 schools. We contribute to the wellbeing award for schools by speaking at assemblies, running wellbeing workshops and training staff.
Teachers and support workers join the mental health first aid training sessions with Sciensus team members, which gives all participants the chance to understand about mental ill health and wellbeing from different professional perspectives. The training has been well received and our plan is to work with more schools over time.
Sciensus team members are also actively supporting wellbeing in schools by volunteering to redecorate staff rooms to provide a calm, tranquil space for teaching staff to relax.
At Sciensus we are dedicated to delivering the best possible care, and we are proud to be proactive in supporting our team and the local community in improving mental health and wellbeing.