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This week ERA Licensing Officer Mantvydas Kiudulas looks at some useful resources relating to Mental Health.

Mental health is described by World Health Organization as: “… a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” The Government’s Department of Health advises that one in four of us will experience mental ill health at some point in our lives. It is therefore important that employers and their staff take steps to promote positive mental health and support those experiencing mental ill health.

In a bid to better understand the implications of this prevailing issue and how to manage it, the Government last week published the Thriving at work report.  The Government-funded study revealed the true cost of the misery of mental illness and poor mental health in the UK and concluded that:

“underneath the stigma that surrounds mental health and prevents open discussion on the subject, the UK faces a significant mental health challenge at work. While there are more people at work with mental health conditions than ever before, 300,000 people with a long term mental health problem lose their jobs each year and at a much higher rate than those with physical health conditions. Behind this, our analysis shows that around 15% of people at work have symptoms of an existing mental health condition. The human cost is huge, with poor mental health having an impact on the lives of many individuals and those around them.”

A  BBC School Report also found that both pupils and teachers were concerned about mental health, with 11% of pupils describing themselves as “unhappy overall” and 73% of teachers saying that they often or occasionally worry about a particular pupil’s well-being in their free time.

However it’s not all doom and gloom as the Thriving at work report offers detailed recommendations for action and examples of good practice for employers and their staff to follow. You can find BBC coverage of the report and the issues involved by clicking here.

Those eager to learn more about this pressing issue will be pleased to know that Trust Me, I’m a Doctor will  be making a timely return to our television screens on Wednesday 1st November with a special programme dedicated to mental health (BBC2 9pm.) The Trust Me team surveyed 2,000 people to find out what mental health issues concerned them most – the top scorer was how to beat stress: In the programme, Michael Mosley runs a big experiment to test mindfulness, yoga and gardening to find out which is the best stress-buster, and newbie presenter psychiatrist Dr Alain Gregoire finds out how lack of sleep affects our mental health. Dr Zoe Williams finds out why laughing is good for us, whilst geneticist Dr Giles Yeo finds out if food can help you find happiness.

To accommodate the programme The BBC also has a helpful links page on mental health that can be found here.

Channel 4 News also has a series of clips on mental health issues which can be found here and there is also an information page for support organisations that deal with mental health and learning disabilities on the Channel 4 website.