To kick off the national Green Ribbon month-long campaign to get Ireland talking openly about mental health, a number of employers signed up to the See Change Pledge on Thursday 30 April. This marks the third year of the Green Ribbon campaign and Ibec’s involvement. Accenture, Deloitte, Mercer and Allergan Pharmaceuticals are among the organisations that have pledged to make mental health a priority and challenge stigma in the workplace.
See Change, is the National Stigma Reduction Partnership and with their 90 partner organisations they are leading the campaign. More than 500,000 green ribbons will be distributed nationwide free of charge to spark a national conversation about mental health in boardrooms, offices and canteens. Last year 97 workplaces took part in events and 40 workplaces began See Change mental health awareness training. According to research conducted last year 53% of Irish adults are comfortable having a conversation about mental health in their workplace, up from 44% in 2013.
See Change has developed a six step pledge programme to help Irish workplaces create an open culture around mental health and challenge stigma. The six step workplace programme consists of the following:
1. Training workshops: Receive 'Mental Health in the Workplace' training for line managers. These workshops are fully funded by the National Office for Suicide Prevention so there is no cost for the organisation.
2. Policy overhaul and implementation: See Change has developed a template 'Mental Health Policy Document' which will be shared with you to help your organisation develop a mental health policy.
3. Mental health awareness and wellness training: Host mental health awareness training and wellness workshops for staff. Create internal communications campaigns promoting wellbeing in your newsletters, on noticeboards, in the staff canteen or on your organisation’s intranet site.
4. In-house mental health promotion: Nominate staff champions to promote wellness and challenge stigma and provide information for staff to access with ease. Organisations should nominate a representative to attend the quarterly support network forums where you can engage with other organisations that have taken the pledge, share ideas and listen to guest speakers on mental health topics.
5. Engage your stakeholders: Organise a stigma challenging activity in your workplace in partnership with See Change and involve local communities and stakeholders.
6. Become an official See Change workplace by signing the workplace pledge: This is a public statement that your organisation is aiming to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination in the workplace and has completed or is in the process of completing the first five steps in the workplace programme.
For more details on Green Ribbon month and the See Change pledge see http://www.seechange.ie/. For further resources around mental health in the workplace see www.ibec.ie/0/mentalhealthguide
Friday, 8 May 2015