• PjT

NHS job coaches for mental health patients

Following the news that the NHS will be offering support for job hunters who suffer with their mental health, it has highlighted the much forgotten additional struggle of staying in work when you are unwell.

This could be down to anything from having a touch of brain fog and struggling to be productive, to being completely unmotivated and unable to even get out of bed, let alone go into work.

14.7 per cent of people in the UK experience mental health problems in the workplace according to research from the Mental Health Foundation, with 12.7 per cent of all sickness absence days attributed to this.

Some bosses are most certainly different to others, in the sense that you are less likely to confide in a tyrant, or even a slightly tougher superior about your personal problems, due to the ever-familiar fear of being judged, looked down upon and possibly even fired (for one reason or another).

On the other hand it can be hard for a person in a position of power who has the responsibility to keep a business ticking over, whilst motivating a team and prioritising their own wellbeing, to spot underlying issues that aren’t laid out on the table for all to see.

Yes management are in a position where they should be able to spot when something is amiss with an employee and deal with it appropriately… But it doesn’t always work like that!

And yes, we should always feel able to tell people about issues that may occasionally impact our productivity and/or behaviour without being worried about that aforementioned judgement… But it doesn’t always work like that!

So these mental health focussed job coaches (as reported by The Times), who NHS chiefs say are expected to help 55,000 people a year by 2023-24 and 115,000 by the end of the decade, will be a welcomed support for those of us concerned about how our mental health issues may affect a career.

However this also highlights the importance of raising emotional literacy and vocabulary at a younger age for all people. So if you are dealing with someone who experiences mental illness you are more aware of how to help, and if you are looking for that help you are more equipped to know how to ask for it.

Raising emotional literacy can be achieved in so many ways, such as day-to-day interactions, to using full blown interventions that delve into a person’s psyche. As long as the positive conversation (and anyone who knows Book of Beasties knows we love the conversation) is being introduced on a regular basis, even briefly, it all goes towards developing that ability to coherently explain how one is feeling.

The Mental Health Foundation’s research continued that better mental health support at work could save businesses £8bn per year.

This could be taken one of two ways, that I am in fact a burden if I need time off of work for self perseveration (which I’ll boldly say is never the case for anyone). Or that you being the effective and valued member of the team that you are, bring something unique, valuable and successful to that business, means the business in question is better with you and therefore should be eager to offer said support whenever it is needed.

I tend to lean towards the latter, when I can.

Now the schools are back in full swing after what we hope was a positively indulgent and restful Easter break, we will be hitting the road and visiting as many of them as the days will allow. We’ll be using these visits to encourage that development of emotional literacy, it is a core message of Book of Beasties and we intend to spread it far and wide.

So if you would like us to come to you please get in touch and we’ll do our very best. We’ve got lots of things to show you and stories to tell you.

We cannot wait to hear from you.

And don’t forget whether you are a boss, employee, teacher, student, parent or child (or even a Beastie), if you inspire the conversation you will brighten the future.

Contact us here:

Image from Pixabay.


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