Department of Health

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H7. Mental Health and Wellbeing

Committed since:

1 January, 2013

Delivery plan:

Submitted: 30 May, 2014

In the last year, the Department has continued its work programme to create an environment where anyone with past or present experience of mental health issues is valued, respected and able to progress. This has involved providing all staff with appropriate HR guidance, environment, knowledge and materials to create and maintain emotional recovery and mental health. We have worked had with staff volunteers and external partners to deliver the following achievements during the year:

• Embedded the principles of the Mental Health Work Adjustments Guide (developed through the Responsibility Deal’s health at work network) within HR procedures. This is to ensure that people experiencing mental health problems are managed at work in the best way possible. This includes the provision of reasonable flexibilities and workplace adjustments.
• Introduced mental health first aid training for staff – over 50 staff now trained including internal trainers to take this forward.
• Piloted a mindfulness based stress reduction programme with 48 participants with very good evaluation results. Introduction to Mindfulness session rolled out to over 100 across government. 2013 Mindfulness symposium attended by over 80 people.
• Produced dedicated DH Staff Health & Wellbeing videos (covering physical, emotional and mental wellbeing) – over 100 staff have participated in the designing and making of staff videos aimed at raising awareness among staff on the benefits of maintaining work life balance through physical activities at work and the need to help reduce mental health stigma in the workplace
• Delivered a range of activities to promote World Mental Health Week – Over 300 staff including ministers and national leaders attended DH health and wellbeing events held across DH estate. External and charity partners attended to speak to staff about their services on healthy life, nutrition, physical and social engagement (including the charity for civil servant, MIND, RETHINK, Bipolar UK, Time to Change and COMPASS).
• The Department has contracted Workplace Wellness to provide free and confidential employee assistance programme – in the last year over 280 staff have attended occupational health appointments during this period (these including self-referrals).
• Launched the Department’s Domestic Abuse Support group – over 15 self-referrals had been made and supported by our external partner ‘Corporate Alliance against Domestic Violence’. The support group provide support and sign post colleagues to relevant information and contacts.
• Promoted and launched the staff dignity, values and respect network – to test out staff experiences and impact; provide and signpost support for colleagues through listening and creating a safe environment within which to consider approaches and provide and signpost support for those that lack confidence or need help in finding the courage to question.
• DH and several DH members of staff were recognised at House of Lord’s event for demonstrating exemplary leadership in increasing mental health literacy in the community.
• Recruited SCS lead volunteer for Emotional and Mental Wellbeing

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