Local Employers Engage in Mental Health Awareness

Shropshire Council supported employment service, Enable, have brought mental health awareness to the county for the second year running with their event, ‘Making Mental Health Your Business’.

To mark World Mental Health Day Enable invited local employers to learn about how to approach mental illness in the workplace. The event, held at Shrewsbury Football Club, included presentations from employers; Dial-a-Ride and Shropshire Partners in Care as well as Enable service users who spoke about their personal experiences of entering employment with a mental health need. Attendees were also given the opportunity to take part in two Mental Health First Aid workshops held by Sandra Vaughn, Stress Management and Mental Health First Aid Trainer.

The event was chaired by Councillor Lee Chapman, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Health and Housing, who said;
“Many people suffer in silence which is why it is vital that employers become more informed about mental health, allowing them to be able to spot the potential signs and symptoms. By doing this, it not only provides a positive outcome for staff but it also improves productivity; increasing revenue and reduces staff turnover; saving on training costs and time.”

The main themes of the event included consideration of the way that people think about mental illness using both positive and negative language, fighting ignorance and fear of mental illness and recognising that mental health is just a fragment of a person and not their whole being.

The event saw over 80 attendees who were all keen to learn and share their ideas around mental health in the work place. Attendees included Deputy Mayor – Councillor Peter Nutting, as well as representatives from Trident Reach, Shropshire Mind, Barnabas, Carers Trust 4 All, Confide, Department for Work and Pensions, Improving Access to Physiological Therapies (IAPT) and Remploy.

Enable operate across Shropshire and the wider West Midlands, with the aim of finding paid employment for people with mental health needs and disabilities. So far this year the Enable Mental Health Employment Team have supported 40 people into paid employment.