MindWell launches new staff wellbeing guide for Leeds employers!

Mental Health Awareness Week - 13-19 May

MindWell, the award-winning mental health website for people in Leeds, commissioned by NHS Leeds CCG, is launching 'MindWell at Work', a new employee wellbeing guide for employers in Leeds on 13 May for Mental Health Awareness Week.

The guide, produced in partnership with Mindful Employer Leeds, will provide an open online resource for all leaders, people managers and HR professionals in the city. It will help employers to take steps to promote workplace wellbeing and support staff who are experiencing problems with their mental health or struggling with difficulties outside of work such as a bereavement or relationship problems.

Nicola Gallear, Content and Communications Manager, MindWell (based at Forum Central) said: 'Mental ill health is the biggest cause of sickness absence in this country. Adopting a proactive and preventative approach to wellbeing in the workplace can have many benefits for both employers and employees. It can help to increase staff commitment and productivity and reduce sick leave and staff turnover. Creating a happier, healthier workplace where people feel supported can also stop problems from escalating and help people to stay in work and thrive.

We are delighted to have worked with Mindful Employer Leeds and local employers to produce a user-friendly guide that brings together practical guidance and information about local support and training options, in one 'go-to' place. MindWell at Work can be used by organisations and businesses of all sizes and has many wellbeing ideas that are free or low cost.'

Martha Clowes, Mindful Employer Leeds Co-ordinator said: 'Mindful Employer Leeds is thrilled to have worked with MindWell to create this new online guide which will support employers in Leeds to create a healthy, happy and well supported workforce.

Mindful Employer Leeds works with local employers to provide guidance on creating mentally healthy workplaces. We engage with our local network of 400 employers through one-to-ones, workshops and network events to share good practice regarding supporting staff experiencing mental health difficulties. These conversations have raised some of the key concerns employers are experiencing such as how to provide the right training for managers, having appropriate conversations with staff they are concerned about and putting adequate support in place. It's hard to know what your exact responsibilities are as an employer and this new resource will act as a crucial guide. It is fulfilling a real need and will give employers the confidence to make positive changes in their organisation.'

Tom Riordan, Chief Executive, Leeds City Council said: “I am pleased to see 'MindWell at Work: a guide for Leeds employers' will go live during this year's Mental Health Awareness Week. Improving people's mental health and wellbeing is a core commitment within the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Strategy, and a valued, well-trained and supported workforce is key for our Inclusive Growth Strategy ambitions. It also supports our commitment to the prevention concordat for mental health."

Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Leeds City Council's executive member for health, wellbeing and adults and Chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board said: “I'm delighted to support the launch of 'MindWell at Work'. One of our priorities in Leeds is promoting mental and physical health equally.

We want Leeds to be the best city for health and wellbeing, so it's essential that our employers have good mental health awareness and support. 'Mindwell at Work' will be a valuable resource in making this happen."

MindWell and Mindful Employer Leeds have worked with a number of local employers in the development of the guide to understand their different concerns and needs:

Sarah Moore, Wellbeing Manager, Human Resources, Leeds Beckett University, said: 'Leeds Beckett University is committed to the health and wellbeing of both colleagues and students. It's my job to lead on building a proactive and positive approach to staff wellbeing across the University. The new MindWell at Work guide for employers in Leeds is a fantastic resource and I will be using it a lot at Leeds Beckett. I can't wait to share it with my HR colleagues and with managers within the University. MindWell is already highly regarded by the University, so much so, that last year we took the decision to add the MindWell logo to the back of all student and staff security cards.'

Craig Burton, Managing Director, The Works Recruitment Leeds said: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to help shape the new online resource guide for MindWell. The guide will not only help businesses to better support and understand mental health issues in the workplace, but it will also increase the awareness around mental health and help reduce the stigma. Here at the Works Recruitment, we are already seeing the benefits of our employees being MHFA trained."

MindWell is funded by Leeds NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and co-produced by staff based at MHabitat, a digital team hosted by the NHS in Leeds, and Forum Central, a network for third sector organisations in Leeds. MindWell brings together information from the NHS in Leeds, Leeds City Council and the third sector into one single 'go-to' place. It offers up-to-date information about support and services and a wealth of self-help information for common problems like stress and anxiety including animations and downloadable resources. MindWell can be used by all adults in the city to support their mental health or that of someone they are concerned about. It also has resources for GPs and other healthcare professionals.

Notes to editors

MindWell Leeds

MindWell went live over two years ago on 10 October 2016, World Mental Health Day.

It was commissioned by NHS Leeds CCG - following feedback from people in the city that it could be hard to know how or where to look for help for your mental health or find the right information.

MindWell is a completely unique project for the city of Leeds.

It was developed by a city-wide co-creation process involving hundreds of local people including members of the public, carers and healthcare professionals.

The website is designed to be clear, simple, easy-to-use, friendly and supportive.

It's written in Plain English (jargon is avoided) and won a Plain English Award in 2017.

It has won a number of awards and accolades including the Tech4Good Award at Leeds Digital Festival 2019 and a place on the Digital Leaders 100 list in 2017. The list celebrates innovations which are 'blazing a trail' in the digital space.

Mindful Employer Leeds

Mindful Employer is a national initiative which aims to provide businesses and organisations with easier access to information and support for staff who experience mental health difficulties. In Leeds it has a strong network of employers across all sectors who are interested in making positive changes in their workplace. It's free to join the network and members receive a monthly newsletter, are invited to attend free quarterly network events and can access support from the local Mindful Employer Coordinator.

Since 2013, mental health charity Leeds Mind and its service Workplace Leeds have been the lead partners for the Mindful Employer initiative in Leeds and the project is currently made possible by funding from Public Health, Leeds City Council.

Social media during Mental Health Awareness Week

Follow updates about the launch on Twitter @MindWellLeeds #MindWellatWork

MindWell will be running a self-care campaign #MindWellMOT, in tandem with the #MindWellatWork launch, encouraging everyone in Leeds to think about their personal wellbeing needs and to take some small steps to look after their mental health. Moving more, eating a healthy diet, taking time to relax, nourishing social networks and finding the coping strategies that work for you can all help to reduce the effects of stress and help build resilience.

For media enquiries please contact:

Issued by Nicola Gallear, Content and Communications Manager, MindWell (based at Forum Central) Mobile: 07947 829091 Email: Nicola.gallear@forumcentral.org.uk

MindWell email: mindwellleeds@gmail.com

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