Racing Welfare promotes mental health campaign

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'Introducing and incentivising the use of mental health days could help prevent stress escalating and turning into longer-term sickness absence by encouraging self-care'.

The call is being made by charity chiefs during Mental Health Awareness Week (May 14-20), which this year is all about stress and how to cope with it. The fact that just 38 per cent feel that their workplace encourages an open culture around mental health is concerning, particularly given the research by Stevenson and Farmer which showed that poor mental health at work could be costing the United Kingdom economy as much as £99 billion per year.

The CEO of the mental health charity behind the UK's first ever comprehensive national mental health database, the Hub of Hope has urged people across the country to make time for their own mental wellbeing. "Exercise can be hugely beneficial to anyone suffering from mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety, and it's also great for reducing stress levels".

The charity spoke with nearly 44,000 employees, and it revealed that 48 per cent were experiencing stress, low mood, anxiety or other mental health issues while still working.

"Our awards provide a unique chance to recognise the organisations and individuals that are helping to lead the discussion and eliminate stigma often associated with mental wellbeing in the workplace".

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It found that 32 per cent of adults said stress had caused them to feel suicidal, while 16 per cent of adults said they had self-harmed as a result of stress - with women and younger adults most likely to be affected.

Isle of Wight Radio is joining BBC and commercial radio stations around the UK to unite for the first time to broadcast a one-minute message about mental health.

Shockingly, in 15% of cases where employees disclosed a mental health issue to a line manager, the employee subsequently became subject to disciplinary procedures, demotion or dismissal.

We know we need to listen to stakeholders, people working in mental health services and of course, the people who have personally used those services, when we are developing policy.

Periods of ill health can be recovered from if treated so let's keep in mind to make time to look after our own mental wellbeing and be mindful of those we are close to. Awareness pushes people to come forward and seek the help they need, to understand the needs of others suffering mental illness, and to push for change in the services available. The effort is part of a campaign called "Make It OK", and is created to encourage people to talk more openly about mental illnesses and ask for help. Now the College's Mental Health Forum is calling on all higher education institutions to implement this new standard as soon as possible, and for this training to continue for all nurses, not just those in mental health, once they start working. And with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, typically being more office based than outdoors, it's important companies encourage employees to take regular breaks and time away from their desks.

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