Council joins University of Derby’s new employee mental health support scheme
Chesterfield Borough Council has become the latest organisation to join the University of Derby’s Mental Health and Productivity Pilot (MHPP), which provides support to businesses and their employees affected by mental health issues.
The Council joins more than 30 other organisations, and their 10,000 employees, who have now signed up to the scheme funded by Midlands Engine.
The Mental Health and Productivity Pilot implements new workplace interventions at pilot organisations and rolls out existing interventions in businesses, with the intention of reducing mental health distress and breaking down any barriers to accessing care.
The aim is to support employees who are experiencing mental distress or illness to either remain engaged and productive at work, or successfully transition back to work after a period of absence.
Since launching in 2020, the University of Derby has enhanced the original MHPP offer by working with academics within the University to offer new short courses and webinars to businesses involved in the pilot, and, in response to the pandemic, is now supporting several organisations with their Leadership and Management programmes, Health and Wellbeing Strategy and Covid recovery agenda.
Councillor Jean Innes, Chesterfield Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Business Transformation and Customers, said: “We are really pleased to have joined the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot. As part of our commitment to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our staff, we want to create an environment where our staff can speak openly about mental health and be aware of the support that is available to them, and we believe joining the pilot will help us achieve this.
“As part of the pilot, we will be able to access new resources and training that will help support our health and wellbeing agenda, and raise awareness of mental health in the workplace. We look forward to working in partnership with the University of Derby.”
Dr Paula Holt MBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care at the University of Derby and Clinical Lead for the MHPP, added: “I am delighted that Chesterfield Borough Council has chosen to join the growing list of organisations that the University is now working with as part of the scheme. We look forward to working with staff there to help reduce the prevalence of mental health difficulties and increase productivity among the workforce.
“We are now working with businesses in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire to help integrate effective mental health provision within their working environment and would welcome enquiries from businesses of any size who are interested in working with us to create a ‘road map’ of support for their employees.”
The pilot links employers directly to initiatives such as Every Mind Matters, This is Me and Mental Health First Aid, which all provide expert guidance.
Businesses taking part will be asked to commit to an initial meeting to discuss how the programme would work for their company, creating a roadmap for its success, and promoting their commitment to the pilot in the workplace.
This week is currently mental health awareness week, and organisations across Chesterfield are raising awareness through a variety of initiatives. You can find out more here.