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MEMBER NEWS 21 NEW SOCIAL ENTERPRISE WILL TACKLE THE PRIMARY CAUSE OF ABSENTEEISM AT WORK WORKPLACE MENTAL Health Limited is a new social enterprise from MhIST (Mental Health Independent Support Team), a successful and highly regarded charity in Bolton. MhIST has over 25 years’ experience providing support to people through independent and commissioned services. The aim is to provide consultancy, training and e-learning to businesses and organisations across the region to give employers the skills to recognise and manage the escalating and often unspoken cause of absenteeism at work. A little stress can be good for you! It helps you to focus, make decisions and carry out tasks efficiently. However, our overly stressful lives are creating a new crisis that is costing the UK economy £30 billion per year in lost productivity, absenteeism and related HR costs. The increased cost of living and reduced job security present conflicting priorities for many - work demands, child care, family, relationships and running a home are causing us to ‘burn-out’ faster than previous generations. Stress and anxiety have become the main reason for sick days taken in the UK and with reduced NHS resources, mental health services are stretched too far to cope with the demand. Many forward thinking companies have recognised the need to support the health and wellbeing of their employees, introducing advice and guidance on healthier lifestyles and work-life balance. However poor mental health is still a taboo subject surrounded by stigma which few people feel comfortable discussing in the workplace. The fear of discrimination or being treated less favourably drives people to suffer in silence and in some cases can make the condition deteriorate quicker. 62% of UK employees attributed their symptoms of poor mental health to work, or said that work was a contributory factor. Early support and preventative measures are good for employers and employees and can bring additional rewards including: • Better staff morale and commitment • Reduced absenteeism & presenteeism • Lower staff turnover • Up to 30% savings on HR related costs • Increased productivity • Improved compliance with HSE legislation Not sure where to start? Workplace Mental Health Limited will be launching its new website and services in the Spring 2017. This is an opportunity for your business to look at some of the options open to you including a workplace audit, training, e-learning, individual support and to talk to our qualified staff about professional development for your teams. To receive future updates and learn more, email chris.gold@workmentalhealth.co.uk or call 01204 537897 to discuss how Workplace Mental Health Limited can support you. MORE THAN FIVE GO MAD ON THE RIDGEWAY THE OLDHAM Young Carers programme run by Positive Steps is nothing short of remarkable. However, even more remarkable than the programme are the young people who are enrolled on it. Aged between eight and 18, they have significant caring responsibilities for a relative. These are young people whose first priority isn’t their phone, spending time with their friends, tweeting and snapchatting, but the parents and siblings under their care. In the modern age these young people are not just remarkable, they are downright inspirational. So, to raise money for these amazing young people, 14 of the good folk at Positive Steps, the integrated serviceprovider charity based in Oldham, have decided to do something equally as inspirational for them. The Race to the Stones is a 62-mile ultra-marathon along The Ridgeway, one of the oldest pathways in the UK. The Ridgeway is an ancient trackway stretching from the River Thames along the chalk ridge of the Berkshire Downs and down into Wiltshire, ending at the ancient stone circle at Avebury. With the option to run (or walk) the route either in one go or split over two days, the Race to the Stones really is the challenge to end all challenges. Over two days this is technically two back-toback ultra-marathons and so clearly not for the faint-hearted. The aim is to raise £10,000 between now and Summer 2017 through a number of differing activities culminating in the actual Race to the Stones in July with the funds being used to improve the facilities for the Young Carers during their weekly workshops, purchase equipment, art & craft supplies and even days out. Chief Executive of Positive Steps, Steph Bolshaw said, “The Young Carers Programme was recently presented with a ‘Pride in Oldham’ award in recognition of the magnificent work done by the support workers on the programme. At Positive Steps, we are proud to run the service and feel any way we can raise money to continue the work, improve the facilities and enhance the lives of these young people is well worth the effort.” It is not known how many of the intrepid 14 will actually complete the two-day ultra-marathon. However, they set out with the greatest of intentions to raise some well-needed, well-deserved funds for a group of young people who truly deserve the best. If you would like to contribute to the Young Carers, sponsor the runners or would like more information on the work carried out by Positive Steps, call 0161 621 9400. www.positive-steps.org.uk


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