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Health / Workers encouraged to be mindful of mental wellbeing over festive period

MANAGERS and employees in Shetland are being reminded to look out for the mental health of other colleagues during the festive period.

The Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) and mental health project See Me have teamed up to offer advice on how business owners and managers can look out for their staff over the festivities.

The two organisations said Christmas and the New Year can be some of the most stressful weeks for employees as they tie up work for the year.

SBRC’s head of cyber and innovation Eamonn Keane said: “Given the workplace is where the majority of us spend a great deal of our time, it should be a supportive environment where people look after one another.

“In cyber and digital we regularly use the expression ‘people, process and technology’ in improving our position. However, it’s the people who are the very heart of everything we do.

“Employee wellbeing is a key element of overall business resilience. For an employer, creating a healthy working environment can be important in ensuring a productive and effective organisation. So, while these tips will help staff, they also impact across the business to make it a much safer environment for everyone.”

See Me, a Scottish Government funded project to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination, said workplaces should have three key things in place:

  • Leadership role models: when leaders can talk openly about mental wellbeing issues, take part in learning events and lead sessions with other employees, this all impacts the perception and practicality of the working environment.
  • Good internal communication: if employees aren’t aware of the existence or purpose of support in the workplace they can’t access it. See Me encourages regular communications across multiple channels to raise awareness of available support.
  • Line management: all managers need to know what supportive conversations look like within their various roles.

Interim director of See Me Wendy Halliday said: “There’s a significant problem with people in Scotland not being able to speak openly about their mental health in the workplace, which can lead to people feeling like they’ve nowhere to go if they’re struggling.

“It’s really important that in all areas of our lives we’re able to say we’re not ok – especially in work.”