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 2019.

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.