Mental Health At Work Programme Launched

From Port of Jersey
14th October 2020

Jersey Recovery College (JRC) has launched a service which helps businesses better support their employees’ mental health.

JRC’s Mental Health at Work Programme involves working with businesses to create more caring and compassionate working environments and practices.

Ben Bennett, Chair, Jersey Recovery College, said: ‘One in four people will experience a mental health difficulty every year, two thirds of whom are likely to say that work either caused or exacerbated their poor mental health.

‘Sick days lost to stress, anxiety and depression cost businesses and Government millions, and yet 80% of local businesses have no policy or strategy in place to support mental health in workplace.

‘A year ago, we realised that there wasn’t a service which enabled businesses to identify how they could improve both the culture and the infrastructure in their workplace to better address mental health needs. Since then we have consulted with more than 40 businesses, and as a result we have a service which has been co-produced by businesses and those with lived experience of mental health difficulties.’

As part of the programme, JRC works with senior leaders to identify how best to implement change, and trains managers to better support the mental health of their teams. It also trains staff to spot and support colleagues who are exhibiting signs of distress and individuals to recognise and take action when their own mental health may be struggling.

‘We work at every level of the organisation to ensure that there is buy-in from the leaders, and the training and infrastructure in place to ensure that caring for everyone’s mental health is part of the organisation’s culture,’ Mr Bennett said. ‘Since work began on the programme, the world has changed because of COVID-19, but I believe the pandemic has brought mental health into sharp focus and we expect the demand for our support to be considerable as a result.’

Jersey Recovery College courses are designed and delivered by people who have a lived experience of mental health difficulties, and those with professional experience. Ports of Jersey has been the first organisation to engage Jersey Recovery College on its Mental Health at Work programme.

Matt Thomas, CEO, Ports of Jersey said: ‘Our people strategy has highlighted the importance of positive mental health, and the overall wellbeing of our people is a critical element of us being a successful business.

‘I think that we already are a great place to work, but there is always room for improvement. We have worked with Jersey Recovery College to roll out a programme that will empower and train our senior leaders and managers in how best to support our workforce, and I look forward to seeing the cultural change it is likely to bring.’

The programme will be open to the other organisations in 2021 and organisations can express their interest now by contacting hello@recovery.je 

Port of Jersey