Back after a brief hiatus, while at St Ives, exploring Barbara Hepworth’s studio and garden as well as enjoying other galleries, coastlines, theatre and bars.
Before we went away, I was delighted to get an invitation to a leadership forum to discuss mental health in the workplace, as a guest of Canada’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Her Excellency Mme Janice Charette.
The invitation mentions a unique campaign called TARGET Mental Health in the Workplace.
“The campaign has had material success in bringing together major employers in fruitful dialogue about how we can do better in supporting our own people facing various forms of mental distress.
The economic cost of mental disorders in the working population now equates to four per cent of the European GDP. It is all-important that our organisations do everything possible, both to support our people, and – at the same time – bring those costs down.
These are compatible objectives.
Leadership from the top is a must. To enable this, at the Forum we will introduce an unprecedented set of leadership guidelines to promote and protect the mental health of our people across Europe in this difficult period.”
The event is inspired particularly by Bill Wilkerson, Executive Chairman, Mental Health International – Europe, and takes place on Wednesday 19th October 2016. More to follow…
This morning I went to a different invited session with Maudsley Learning at Work, giving a taster of their workshops for businesses on mental health and the employer’s dutuy of care. Jane Beston lead the training session and very eloquently teased out what we mean by, or misinterpret about, the use of such terms as neurosis, psychosis and personality disorder.
How important it is as a manager to ask after employees’ health and circumstances and to be aware of any red flags, or warning signs, that all may not be well, and may require the employer to consider some form of adjustment, in consultation with the employee.
And there’s always the campaign, more than just ‘supported’ by the Royals – Heads Together – which was launched in May this year.
We have heard this week of Sharon Osborne speaking out about her ‘secret’ breakdown, helping perhaps, to dispel stigma.
I shared a story with my brother about ‘The Hidden life of Trees’ by Peter Wohlleben, cited in the Guardian, as the man who believes trees talk to each other. I’d heard of acacia trees communicating with each other through chemical signals when under threat by pests, and had read other examples compiled by Lyall Watson in the 70s and 80s, but Peter suggests whole networks of communication on the forest floor through micro roots and funghi. Myriad connections, an alien world among us, or are we mad to think so?
There are deep links between our psyche and the natural world of which we are a part. It is important to keep an open mInd about this world, this universe, and all that we may not yet fully understand. Visit my brother’s website at Knights Rose for more on subtle energies and Earth Energy.
As you may know, on 10th September it was World Suicide Prevention Day, as promoted by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP).
I was with a company today who have quite recently had two people commit suicide, with the possibility that there may be an element that is work-related. With so many signing-off on life in this world, we can only hope that more will be better prepared to ask the right questions and offer the most appropriate help, which may be as little as simply asking the question: ‘How are you?’ And really listening to the answer.
Laura Bates has made the headlines this week through her campaigning, with good justification, particularly with Change.org, to make SRE (Sex and Relationships Education) compulsory in schools. The closest I came to ‘sex’ as a pre-pubescent child was probably the simple discovery of faded remains of certain magazines in the woods, where we went cycling, or a few photographs brought in by school friends early on in secondary school. There was nothing like the horrific and violent content that some websites openly display today, for anyone to see, and which can have a harmful impact, especially on young relationships.