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Colchester Firm Plans To Combat Stress During Mental Health Awareness

03 May Colchester Firm Plans To Combat Stress During Mental Health Awareness

As a part of Mental Health Awareness Week which runs from 8 – 12 May, Colchester based Voice Communications has teamed up with the experts at Working for Wellbeing to launch the “Having a Voice” campaign. The campaign aims to discover how stress in the workplace can affect employees and what businesses can do to help alleviate this issue.

The number of reports of work related stress is on the up, with 488,000 cases of depression or anxiety in 2015/2016.

Francis McGinty and Jerry Thornton founded Essex based Working for Wellbeing in October 2012 to assist nationwide organisations in recognising and alleviating pressure within the workplace. With a worrying 11.7 million working days lost due to stress in 2015/16, this is a nationwide issue which is also directly affecting Essex businesses.

Francis comments, “It is the responsibility of both the employer and the employee to address the issue. Every employer of five or more must identify risk areas that could affect both the physical and mental health of its employees. Risks identified must then have a policy in managing risk. The employee also has a responsibility to report pressure that may cause them harm at the earliest time.”

Ill mental health is the primary reason for absenteeism, which costs the UK economy £104 billion per year, and with stress accounting for £30 billion of this. Employers should be aware of bullying, behavioural change and absence levels within the workplace to ensure its employees are not under unacceptable burdens.

Working for Wellbeing highlights that ‘culture’ is one of the biggest issues when it comes to stress at work: “Is the management autocratic or democratic? Ultimately, it can be the employers who lack the will or knowledge to tackle the subject of stress with time and money in implementing an effective policy. They’re unaware that with a small investment they could see amazing financial and social rewards.”

Since being established in 2006, the happiness of staff has been a key focus for Voice Communications.

Nichola Cain, Managing Director at Voice Communications said :As an employer, I know that the wellbeing of my team directly impacts the productivity and quality of work we are able to provide as a business. Each and every member of staff has different needs, therefore it is important to engage with the team on different levels.”