Mental health awareness training needed in businesses

(Left to right) Gavin Howarth, MD of Howarths People & Safety Management, and Phil Constantine, operations director at Vickers Laboratories.
(Left to right) Gavin Howarth, MD of Howarths People & Safety Management, and Phil Constantine, operations director at Vickers Laboratories.
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Two Yorkshire directors have joined forces to encourage business leaders across the region to realise the importance of “essential workplace mental health awareness training” as part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2018.

Phil Constantine, operations director at Leeds-based Vickers Laboratories, and Gavin Howarth, managing director at Howarths People & Safety Management in Cleckheaton, are calling for businesses to be aware of the negative impact that failing to equip senior leadership teams and managers with skills to identify and address mental health issues in the workplace could have.

Mr Howarth said: “Mental ill health in the workplace is a growing issue. It’s estimated that one-in-six working age adults experience depression, anxiety or stress-related illness at any one time, costing the UK business economy an estimated £70bn to £100bn every year and resulting in around 70m lost working days.

“It goes without saying that good mental health and wellbeing are vital to business performance, as content, healthy employees are more engaged, motivated and – ultimately - more productive.”

Vickers Laboratories, which manufactures chemicals for the contact lens, education and food and drink sectors among others, has recently invested in mental health awareness training for its entire senior management team, in partnership with Howarths.

Mr Constantine added: “If employees have physical injuries, we help them. It should be no different for mental health issues.”