Businesses in Cheltenham are being offered a free service to help their staff cope with stress.
Wellbeing taster sessions are available from the Let’s Talk service, provided by the ²gether NHS Foundation Trust, to employers who want to offer some extra assistance to their employees.
Senior Therapist Jan Bagnall said that there are benefits to be gained for both employees and their managers through the scheme.
“It is estimated that sickness absences due to mental health problems cost UK companies around £30 billion each year,” Jan explained.
“Unhealthy employees are 20 per cent less productive and twice as prone to illness as their healthy colleagues, so for employers investing in the emotional wellbeing of their staff makes a big difference.
“For the staff themselves, we can support them in avoiding and overcoming stress, anxiety, depression, sleep problems and other mental health issues, so there are benefits on both sides.
“We recently ran a pilot programme for Gloucestershire College which was attended by over 100 staff, and the feedback has been very positive.”
Sharon Parkin, Director of HR at Gloucestershire College, said: “A number of staff have recently undertaken a five week wellbeing programme offered by the ²gether NHS Foundation Trust and feedback has been very positive.
“In addition, 40 college managers recently undertook an ‘Introduction to Wellbeing’ session which was also positively received.
“As one of the county’s largest employers we take the wellbeing of our staff very seriously, and we fully support this initiative and its positive approach to mental health and well-being.”
Let’s Talk is offering to go into companies to give taster sessions, which will give an overview of how to deal with work related stress.
Staff will then be able to decide whether or not they would like to attend five weekly sessions based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for dealing with stress, low mood and anxiety.
There is no charge for any of the services provided. The service is currently being trialled with businesses in Cheltenham but, subject to interest, may be expanded into other parts of the county.
If you would like to arrange workplace wellbeing sessions for your business please ring Jan Bagnall on 01242 634314 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals wishing to contact the Let’s Talk service for support should ring 0800 073 2200.