Northern Ireland Employers ‘Minding Their Business’

Brendan Miskelly PWC, Gary Kane AMH Works and Dwyer Gorman Allstate NI
Brendan Miskelly PWC, Gary Kane AMH Works and Dwyer Gorman Allstate NI

Approximately 1 in 20 (5%) of people in work will develop a diagnosable mental illness as a result of work related stress. In 2011, mental ill health cost the Northern Ireland economy £790 million which equates to £937 per person who works here.

So what are local employers doing about it?

A series of free-to-attend seminars are being planned across Northern Ireland to provide managers and local business owners with an insight into best practice in the delivery of wellness and support programmes in the workplace to create a culture enabling staff to remain productive.

Guest speakers include representatives of local employers such as Allstate NI and Price Waterhouse Coopers, as well as international contributors like Virgin Atlantic.

Organised by AMH Works, a project by charity Action Mental Health (AMH) in partnership with The Big Lottery Awards For All fund, the events will showcase local businesses and the work they have been doing to better support employees who have developed, or are at risk of developing, a mental health issue.

Corporate resilience is essential for businesses and services to survive and grow. To strengthen corporate resilience requires strengthening the resilience of the workforce, together with ensuring the cultural environment clearly links the wellbeing of individuals to their performance and the performance of the organisation as a whole.

AMH’s Chief Executive David Babington explains;

“Stress and depression are at the highest levels they have ever been, and this is causing huge problems both to individual employees and the organisations they work for. Last year alone, mental health cost the Northern Ireland Economy £790 million. Mental health problems are also one of the largest contributing factors to long term absenteeism. Many individuals and organisations are facing uncertainty, job cuts and a period of great change, and against this background, keeping people engaged and performing well, can seem like an uphill battle.”

The first event will take place on Thursday 12th February 9.30am – 1.00pm at Waterfoot Hotel, Derry. Places are free and conclude with lunch. Book your place by email: events@amh.org.uk or call (028) 9182 8494

Further events are planned to take place in Fermanagh and Belfast.

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