Altering Attitudes Towards Mental Health
Recruitment is one of the most stressful occupations, sitting alongside teachers, nurses, city traders and chefs. With plenty of contributing factors leading to the root causes of stress and anxiety, which are two of the most common mental health concerns in the UK today, we put mental health firmly on the agenda with MorFit: a dedicated wellbeing strategy that promotes healthy lifestyles to prevent illness, but also contributes to happiness in order to maintain a good quality of life.
Too many businesses fail to view mental health as a priority, citing reasons such as operational demands and insufficient resources. This, coupled with a lack of awareness and understanding of the benefits that such initiatives deliver, means a high percentage of UK organisations still have no mental wellbeing policy in place. Putting mental health issues on a par with physical problems helps break down the barriers that prevent people from opening up about their emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. Removing the perceived stigma encourages people to talk openly and honestly about their personal issues, concerns and struggles, meaning employers can apply the right support mechanisms for them and their situation. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Different needs and scenarios require different intervention strategies, meaning businesses must have a range of tools at their disposal to take a flexible approach and break down traditional mental health stereotypes.
Moving towards a culture of proactive and preventative measures has been the enabler in tackling mental health within Morson. Workplace wellbeing is supported by our Group board, which creates commitment from both the top down and bottom up in supporting a culture where mental health is prioritised.
“Instead of hiding behind the pressures of recruitment, we recognise the issues that our workforce face and develop robust health and wellbeing programmes that form part of a wider culture of openness and support, to tackle mental health head-on. Through a new generation of health and wellbeing initiatives that go far beyond lip service and meeting statutory guidelines, we encourage our workforce and their families to lead happier and healthier lifestyles by providing access to advice about lifestyle choices and giving the right encouragement and support to positively change behaviours.” - Becki Ross, Group Head of HR at Morson
Strategies and Engagement
- By signing the Mindful Employer Charter we support mental wellbeing at work by continuing to improve the practices within our own organisation to deliver long-term change and provide easier access to information and support for those who experience different mental health conditions.
- In addition to counselling services, stress management and support managing workplace pressures and workloads, we also run mental health workshops specifically for line managers. The training equips our managers with the skills, experience and knowledge to understand and manage mental health in every corner of the business, whilst establishing themselves as touch points for anyone struggling and in need of support.
- The Morson Vital Safety Units continue to tour sites across the UK engaging in proactive conversations around health and safety. Helping to facilitate and focus communications, the team behind the Safety Units are having increasing discussions around emotional health and wellbeing to deliver a holistic approach. The Safety Units also allow us to carry out conversations in any location throughout the UK, even the most remote of sites, to reach our entire workforce. They have a particular focus on contractors who work in environments more susceptible to health and safety related issues, such as anti-social working patterns and high-risk activities, with the majority of our Safety Unit talks taking place directly with our rail workforce.
- Mental health and wellbeing now form part of our quarterly briefs with all our rail supervisors to ensure that we are doing everything possible to break down the barriers, so that our entire workforce feel comfortable in the workplace and that we create environments where everyone can thrive regardless of their issues. We are as much committed to health as we are to safety, helping to readdress any previous imbalance in health and safety activities in industries where safety was previously seen as a larger priority.
Morson has released a mental health whitepaper which includes more insights from our contractor survey supported by powerful personal stories of our own employees and ex-Morson sponsored boxer Ricky Hatton. To download, visit www.morson.com/tackling-mental-health