IProtectU supporting mental health awareness

Lauren Stone BACP Registered Counsellor, Social Work BA (Hons), Mindfulness Teacher.

iProtectU are delighted to introduce Lauren Stone registered counsellor at Our Mindful Counsellor a company who works with HR and employees in the workplace.

Lauren Stone is a BACP Registered Integrative Counsellor since 2012 working for the NHS and the Domestic Violence Abuse Service. Our Mindful Counsellor offers a warm, confidential, compassionate, safe space to discuss your concerns and difficulties to support people to live well with pain whether physical, mental or emotional. Companies have a duty to protect the mental health wellbeing of their staff at work. Wellbeing risk assessments, raising aware through eLearning and providing employee supports are some of the areas to consider providing a holistic approach.

iProtectU software compliments this further with eLearning courses and risk assessment, which includes stress awareness in the workplace.

Workplace counselling is important in the UK as approximately 500,000 employees have the ill effects of stress. Long term sickness absence through stress has increased since 1990. In fact, mental health conditions in the UK are costing £105 billion a year including health care, lost productivity and benefits. Research studies of the economic impact of providing counselling in the workplace report it at least covers the costs. For example, research from EDF Energy counselling programme has reduced sickness absence by 14% however, only a third of UK employees receive work-related counselling (BACP).

According to the HSE Management Standards for managing stress at work, we need to

‘promote active discussion and working in partnership with employees and their representatives, to help decide on practical improvements for stress in the workplace’.

Furthermore, identifying six core areas to reduce poor mental health including control, change, demands, relationships, role and support. HSE states, the core area of support is the

‘encouragement, sponsorship and resources provided by the organisation to inspire employers to use workplace counselling’.

According to the NHS,

it is not always easy to recognise when stress is the reason you’re feeling or acting differently’.

Mental health symptoms include feeling overwhelmed, being forgetful, indecisive and constant worry. Then add the physical symptoms of dizziness, muscle tension, chest pain, stomach and sexual problems. We can start to understand changes in behaviour including becoming irritable, eating too much or too little, drinking or smoking more, changes in sleeping patterns and avoiding people and places.

There are multiple layers of stress including relationships with friends and family, bereavement, chronic health conditions plus, work-related stress such as job insecurity, poor morale and staff shortages. Statistics show three in ten employees have a work-related mental health condition including anxiety and depression plus 18% of employees have added stress through divorce or bereavement. Resulting with people having a lack of concentration, productivity and sickness absence.

At Our mindful counsellor the aim is to provide your employees a professional service to process the factors for stress, that is preventing them from reaching their full potential and to bring an understanding and compassion for themselves.

Lauren Stone is passionate about supporting people to live well with pain whether physical, mental or emotional. As part of our counselling pathway, we learn and understand more about ourselves through self -inquiry and gain insight as to why we need to care for our own mental health and to continue building resilience. Our Mindful Counsellor offers a warm, confidential, compassionate safe space to discuss your concerns and difficulties. Email or phone to arrange your free telephone consultation and see how Lauren Stone can support you.

For more information please contact www.ourmindfulcounsellor.com

Email: ourmindfulcounsellor@gmail.com

Mobile: Lauren Stone 07369 247776

Below are five ways Our Mindful Counsellor recommends for building resilience and reduce the impact of stress.

  1. Spend time connecting and nurturing relationships with colleagues, friends and family.
  2. Stay active as evidence shows physical health improves mental health.
  3. Keep curious by learning a new skill.
  4. Give back to your community, this could be giving someone a smile or becoming a volunteer.
  5. Take notice of your environment by being more aware of the present moment with your own feelings, thoughts, pain levels and body sensations with the breath.

If the stress symptoms resonate with you and you are over 16 it may be worth completing the NHS mood self-assessment as it can be hard to recognise or admit we are not feeling great. Please find link below:

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/guides-tools-and-activities/depression-anxiety-self-assessment-quiz/

This questionnaire is not intended to replace a consultation with a GP.

If you are concerned for someone under 16’s mental health, please visit the Young Minds charity for support and information. https://www.youngminds.org.uk

If you are struggling and need to speak to someone, urgently call the Samaritans free on 116 123.

References

https://www.bacp.co.uk/media/2125/bacp-improving-mental-health-in-workplace-briefing-apr15.pdf

https://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/standards/

https://neweconomics.org/2020/03/five-ways-to-wellbeing-at-a-time-of-social-distancing

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/feelings-symptoms-behaviours/feelings-and-symptoms/stress/

iProtectU EHS software is fully compliant to international requirements. Risk Assessments are supported by International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) approved training. https://www.iirsm.org/