Northamptonshire Mind leads the charge for Workplace Wellbeing during Mental Health Awareness Week

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As Mental Health Awareness week begins, Northamptonshire Mind is amplifying its efforts to prioritise workplace health and wellbeing.

Northamptonshire Mind, a leading mental health provider, is gearing up for Mental Health Awareness week with a renewed focus on workplace wellbeing. As they celebrate their 60th anniversary, this reaffirms the organisation’s commitment to reducing stigma and advocating for greater awareness and support across the region.

“At Northamptonshire Mind, our vision is to improve mental health and wellbeing in Northamptonshire,” says Sarah Hillier, CEO of Northamptonshire Mind. “As an organisation built on lived experience, we understand the complex challenges that organisations face in supporting colleagues with their mental health.”

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Recent figures on mental health reveal the staggering scale of the problem within the UK. One in four people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime and the accessibility of mental health services remains a critical issue. With two million people on waiting lists for NHS mental health services, many people aren’t getting the support they need.

Northamptonshire Mind's 60th Anniversary LogoNorthamptonshire Mind's 60th Anniversary Logo
Northamptonshire Mind's 60th Anniversary Logo

Statistics from leading mental health organisations emphasise the urgency of addressing mental health issues in the workplace. According to the Centre for Mental Health, 15.8 million days of sickness are lost in the UK every year due to mental ill health. These figures underscore the need for proactive measures to support mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

In response to these challenges, Northamptonshire Mind has developed several innovative partnerships to enhance workplace wellbeing. Together with Minderful, they’ve launched the groundbreaking “Northants Working Minds” initiative. This collaboration aims to support 60 Northamptonshire-based organisations to develop healthy, happy workplace cultures that prioritise mental health and wellbeing.

Alongside this initiative, Northamptonshire Mind has been piloting the use of Alpha-Stim with colleagues and service users. Alpha-Stim, an award-winning cranial electrotherapy device developed by neurobiologist, Dr. Daniel L Kirsch, seeks to provide holistic support for individuals experiencing anxiety and depression.

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Feedback from frontline colleagues involved in the Alpha-Stim pilot highlights the positive impact of using the device. Northamptonshire Mind’s Mental Health Navigators provide support to individuals via a mental health telephone service, delivered in partnership with Northampton Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Last year, the service received over 92,000 phone calls from individuals needing help and support. Tanya Gardner, Mental Health Navigator Team Leader, experienced positive effects in terms of relaxation and improved quality of sleep. Emya Smart, Mental Health Navigator also found instant anxiety relief and long-lasting calming effects after using Alpha-Stim regularly.

In addition to these partnerships, Northamptonshire Mind has developed a comprehensive training offering to support local businesses in prioritising mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. From “Mental Health Awareness Training” to “Creating a Mentally Healthy Workplace,” Northamptonshire Mind aims to empower teams with mental health training to foster supportive and inclusive workplace cultures.

Sarah Hillier, CEO of Northamptonshire Mind urges caution against framing mental ill health as a matter of welfare policy alone, emphasising the need for accessible healthcare services and employment support to address the multifaceted challenges individuals are currently facing. “While the political landscape evolves, our commitment to fostering positive workplace cultures remains resolute,” states Hillier.

“Through innovative partnerships and initiatives such as “Northants Working Minds,” we strive to empower our colleagues and local communities to prioritise mental health in the workplace.”