Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy
Last Updated 11 Feb 2020 in Wellbeing
The mental health and wellbeing of our colleagues is just as important as their physical health and this policy how the Society will encourage and facilitate working practices and services that support mental health and wellbeing; to minimise wherever possible the impact of work-related stress on all colleagues.
Key points covered:
Responsibilities of colleagues and line managers to support and manage mental health and wellbeing
Support services available to colleagues
About this Policy
The Society operates in a culture of care and concern, committed to protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues. We recognise the importance of identifying and tackling the causes of work-related stress. We also understand personal stress, while unrelated to the workplace, can adversely affect the wellbeing of colleagues at work.
This policy sets out how the Society will encourage and facilitate working practices and services that support colleagues health and wellbeing; to minimise wherever possible the impact of work-related stress on all colleagues.
The Society also recognises that work can have a very positive impact on a colleague’s mental health and wellbeing. The Society seeks to promote these benefits to colleagues to nurture a positive culture.
This policy applies to all colleagues (whether employed on a full-time, part-time, fixed term or permanent basis), as well as agency staff and contractors.
This policy does not form part of any colleague’s contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.
Society Policies and Wellbeing
The Society is committed to creating a workplace that embraces flexibility, giving colleagues the best opportunities to manage their time and commitments and support a healthy and happy work life. Therefore, this policy should be read in conjunction with a number of other Society policies and procedures, including but not limited to:
Mental Health is a term to describe our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing; it affects how we think, feel and act and how we cope with the normal pressures of everyday life. Positive mental health is rarely an absolute state since factors inside and outside work affect mental health, meaning we move on a spectrum that ranges from being in good to poor mental health.
Stress is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or demands placed on them. Stress is not an illness, but sustained over a period of time, it can lead to mental and/or physical illness.
Pressures outside the workplace, whether the result of unexpected or traumatic events such as accidents, bereavement, family breakdown or financial worries, can result in stress or poor mental health. They can also compound normal workplace pressures.
The Society recognises that individuals react to similar situations in different ways and that what triggers stress and poor mental health varies from person to person.
All colleagues (including managers) should:
Take reasonable care of their own mental health and wellbeing and the wellbeing of their colleagues.
Speak to their line manager in the first instance so that appropriate signposting and support can be put in place. If colleagues don’t feel comfortable speaking to their line manager, the Society operates an open-door policy and encourages colleagues to speak to any manager they feel comfortable speaking to or the HR advisor for your business area.
Talking about your feelings can help maintain a colleagues mental health, colleagues are encouraged to identify someone they feel comfortable with and who will be supportive.
Take advantage of the support measures available, including making use of the employee assistance programme and engage in any wellbeing initiatives run by the Society.
Help the Society combat stigma and discrimination by:
- Not labelling people who are mentally unwell
- Not be afraid of people who may have a mental illness
- Not using disrespectful terms for people with mental ill-health
- Do not be insensitive to people with mental illness or blame them
- Being a role model for promoting better mental health
All managers have a responsibility to recognise potential issues of mental ill-health, work related stress and the overall wellbeing of the colleagues they manage.
Be role models to their teams in managing their own mental health and that of colleagues.
Be proactive in spotting early warning signs of mental ill-health in colleagues and signpost the support services available.
Monitor roles within their team and consult colleagues on changes that may have an effect on their health and wellbeing.
Be familiar with and treat colleagues fairly and consistently in accordance with this policy and other Society policies likely to affect wellbeing.
Encourage colleagues to engage in wellbeing initiatives run by the Society.
Be familiar with colleague support services and contact the relevant HR advisor for support and assistance.
Ensure that all colleagues receive induction, training and development for their job role and also, through the colleague review process, receive regular feedback on their progress at work.
Always operate an open-door policy and encourage colleagues to raise any concerns at any time, and not wait for the colleague review process.
Make reasonable adjustments in the workplace following advice from your HR advisor in line with the Equality Act 2010. For more support on making reasonable adjustments in the workplace please refer to the Wellbeing Passport Guidance Document.
Information about mental health and wellbeing is highly sensitive, therefore all colleagues and managers are responsible for respecting the high level of confidentiality that is required when supporting a colleague.
We have a number of services in place to assist colleagues who may be suffering from stress or poor mental health, which all colleagues are encouraged to access if they ever feel they need support or assistance.
Where it is thought that a colleague’s wellbeing has been affected by bullying or harassment, the procedure set out in the Respect in the Workplace Policy will be followed.
If colleagues are absent due to work related stress or mental ill health, they should follow the reporting procedure set out in the Managing Attendance Policy.
Mental Health First Aiders – Managers of the Executive, leadership team and members of our HR team are trained mental health first aiders who can be contacted by any colleague who is experiencing a mental health issue.
i.Learn -The Society has a dedicated wellbeing area in i.Learn where colleagues can enrol in short courses to assist colleagues in recognising and coping with stress and taking care of their mental health.
Employee assistance programme (EAP) – colleagues can talk to a professional in complete confidence by calling 08088 021 122. A live webchat is also available here. There are also dedicated support resources available on www.groceryaid.org.uk including but not limited to the following:
- Financial help
- Emotional support and advice
- Health and wellbeing support
- Money benefits and debt
- Workplace critical incident support
- Work and career related issues
- Legal and advice
- Coping with disabilities and long-term conditions
Wellbeing Passport – the wellbeing passport aims to support colleagues who may need some additional support at work. The passport contains details of conversations between a colleague and their line manager about the additional support needed and the workplace adjustments agreed, ensuring that the colleague is able to work to their full potential within a positive and supportive environment.
Occupational Health – Where there are concerns that work could be affecting a colleague’s health or that a health problem could be affecting a colleague’s ability to do their job, a referral will be made to occupational health for advice and assistance in managing such concerns effectively. Occupational health can provide specialist advice on work-related stress and wellbeing, support colleagues who have been off work and advise on return to work plans, they can also make referrals for additional support for the colleague.
Help and information can also be obtained from Mind, the mental health charity, www.mind.org.uk, telephone 0300 123 3393, or they have a text service: text MIND to 86463.
The Samaritans also offer a dedicated 24hour support service by phone (116 123, in person (at their local branches, by email or letter. Visit www.samaritans.org.
Supporting our Managers
The role of line managers in colleague well-being is vital. They are often the first port of call for a colleague needing help, and are most likely to see warning signs of poor mental health among colleagues.
To help managers effectively and confidently support their team’s mental health and wellbeing, there are dedicated resources on the managers guide area on colleagues connect. Managers should also seek support from the HR advisor for their business group or a Society mental health first aider in managing colleague mental health and wellbeing.
The Society also appreciates managers may too feel their wellbeing or mental health has been affected and this should not be ignored. Managers should too follow the guidelines set out in this policy and engage with the support services and any wellbeing initiatives run by the Society. Managers should speak with their line manager where possible in the first instance so that appropriate support can be put in place. If managers are open about how they feel in the workplace, it might encourage others to do the same.
|Policy name:||Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy||Date of last review:||November 2019|
|Policy owner:||PSG||Issue number:||PSG-CB-001|