Mental Health Awareness Event London – 21 June 2019
On 21 June 2019 Ernst & Young (EY) generously hosted a Mental Health Awareness event at their London Bridge office. This event centred on a whole range of mental health awareness issues. Presentations from Wilson James (WJ), 17 Port & Maritime Regiment RLC and EY explored the different challenges they all faced within the commercial sector and, within the military environment.
Catherine Jenkins, Mental Health co-chair from EY set the scene by giving an overview of mental ill-health issues in general. This ranged from identifying early mental health symptoms to the integrated support network they have in place to educate and care for their employees. Mental ill-health is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, costing an average of £1035 per employee per year.
Sam Rope, WJ HR Director talked about the impact of mental ill-health within WJ particularly within the construction logistics and security arm of the company. The long established macho image of this type of work group has had to be challenged and WJ now have a very well established support programme in place for all employees with senior buy-in from executive board stakeholders. Gerald Butler, the Time for Change Champion from WJ highlighted his own personal experiences on mental ill-health and reinforced his company’s policy to ‘end mental health discrimination’. All line manager’s now have the tools required to engage with the workforce at every level on mental health awareness issues.
Captain Phil Smith ably supported by SSgt Smith and SSgt Tallett gave 17 Port & Maritime Regiment’s perspective on mental ill-health and that of their personal experiences when confronted with mental health issues. Service personnel do suffer with mental health issues and recent studies indicate higher stress rates amongst service personnel than those within the civilian sector. Military commanders at all levels take responsibility for both the physical and mental wellbeing of those that serve under their command.
Following lunch 60 delegates took part in Interactive Group sessions to further explore the mental health impact on individuals, their families, the business and what we can do further to make sure the right treatment, support and rehabilitation is in place for the future.
An excellent Event, with an open and honest view of mental ill-health issues that will and do, affect us all.