ROTHERHAM employers are being encouraged to sign-up to a scheme aimed at improving mental health in the work place.
More than 40 of the town's businesses are already taking part in the Mind Your Own Business initiative, which targets employers and individuals to help reduce stress and improve mental health.
Run by NHS Rotherham, the scheme has so far helped more than 280 individuals and 43 medium and small companies by offering practical advice, information, consultation and training.
Jess Wilson, health promotion specialist for Mental Health at NHS Rotherham, said: “By equipping employers with the knowledge and skills to promote the mental well-being of their workforce we can help to protect staff who might be showing signs of stress or mental illness and support and develop those with existing conditions.
“This will help to reduce the number of people falling out of work due to mental ill health and ensuring those returning to work are moving into mentally healthy environments.”
It is estimated that work-related mental ill health accounts for more days off than any other cause of illness. In Rotherham up to 40 per cent of the 14,000 people claiming incapacity benefits are doing so due to mental health problems.
By improving mental well-being, employers can save money by reducing sick leave and increasing productivity.
For a copy of the Rotherham Mind Your Own Business Progress report 2008/09 contact Jess Wilson at NHS Rotherham on 01709 302095.
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