Mental Health Awareness week

  • May 10, 2021

There is no one size fits all approach to mental health at work. 

  Mental Health England

  IPS Staff





However IPS are committed to Improving employee health & wellbeing at our work place with our “wellness warriors”. 

We sat down with our three Mental Health Champions to discuss improving mental health in our workplace. 

Karen Angus has worked for the company for over 11 years in our finance department, initially as IPS Finance Manager and now as Finanace Director.  

Karen, what is mental health?

Mental Health is defined as a state of well being in which every individual realises their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community.

Mental Health Awareness Week

How important is Mental Health?

Its extremely important, we all like to protect our physical health so we should do the same to our Mental Health. Mental Health issues cloud clear thinking and good decision making.

Why is MH and raising the awareness important to you?

We have all known someone with Mental Ill Health and the impact it can have on colleagues, friends and family. 

Can mental health be prevented?

We all have Mental Health. 

We always seem to be aware of the ill health side but we also need to focus on maintaining our overall Mental Health.

Why Is recognising mental health important at work?

We spend a large part of our daily lives at work and mental health issues in the workplace are common especially depression, anxiety and problems relating to stress.  Unaddressed Mental Health issues results in sickness absences, lower productivity levels and a less engaged workforce.  A healthy workplace is a productive workplace.

What is a Mental Health Champion? 

Any employee who acts to raise awareness of mental health problems amongst staff, challenges mental health stigma and provides peer support to colleagues who has undertaken formal training with MHFA England.  As Mental Health Champions, we can all contribute, in a million different ways, to build mentally healthy workplaces and communities.

What is the purpose of a Mental Health Champion? 

To support the person concerned.  Under Metal Health England a Mental Health Champion will use the ‘ALGEE’ approach:

Approach the person, assess and assist with any crisis

Listen and communicate non-judgementally

Give Support and information

Encourage the person to get appropriate professional help

Encourage other supports.

A year on from the start of the pandemic what are we doing differently in terms of the day-to-day wellbeing of staff?  

We are raising the awareness of how important Mental Health is throughout IPS. We are also trying to eliminate the stigma that is associated with Mental Ill Health and encourage people to be more open. We are also offering the chance for all employees to attend a Mental Health in the workplace course so that we can support one another.

What can we do to support colleagues suffering with mental health?

Empathy is key.  We are all different and we don’t always know what is going on in someone’s life.

Are there warning signs to watch for in themselves or colleagues of mental illness?

There are many behavioral signs of Mental Health distress although psychological and physical signs may also be apparent.  Evidence of behavioral signs are not getting things done, missed deadlines or forgotten work, complaints about workload, unacceptable behavior and many more.  

76% of people believe their employer should be doing more to protect their mental health, what new measures have IPS brought in to help colleagues?   

We have always had an employee assistance programme (EAP) where they can seek advice confidentially.  We are always looking to strive at ways we can reach out to the team and therefore are launching an updated EAP system that uses an app that not only has all the support services at a finger tip it also promotes physical activity. 

Once lockdown restrictions are lifted we plan to continue on with the monthly IPS walks hopefully without getting lost.

IPS Staff Walk


Mental Health Week

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