Meeting the Mental Health Challenge in Business in the UK - Can a New Academy for Mental Health Help?
26th February, 2020
Recent research by
Deloitte estimates that poor mental health costs UK employers £45 Billion a
year and yet, the latest evidence shows that for every £1 invested by an
employer in mental health, there is an average return of £5.
crucial thing is what to spend your mental health £ on? The greatest asset a
company has is its people. But which people and what learning and development
might help them and the company?
of people, it can be stating the obvious to say but it's a mix of those who
have the right motivations, sense of purpose, willingness to help others and to
push for changes that make a difference.
people need to be able to empathise and have an authenticity that resonates
with others. They need content knowledge about mental health and mental illness
and everything in between.
need to know what’s out there, exposure to the evidence and different ways of
seeing and doing things, knowing who to ask as well as an ability to build and
maintain strong networks.
also need good change management and transformation skills, along with personal
and leadership development and coaching that enables them to have insights into
themselves and others.
they need to know how to advocate and lead for change and how to put their
passion into practice for the wider benefit of others.
people are out there for sure, it may be you or someone you know in your
organisation. But finding the right course or learning and development
opportunity to support and grow the right people talent in mental health is
time in mental health I have not yet seen a course that quite fits all the
last 2 years I have been working with Zinc as a professional development
experience on their Social Missions and now they have developed a learning and
development programme called the Academy for Mental Health.
aims to provide a new learning and development opportunity over a 9 month part
time programme starting in April. The course information states its aims are to
combine mental health knowledge and expertise with leadership and personal
development goals in equal measure. The course also aims to expose participants
to a range of modern thinking and evidence, alongside practical ways of making
Ford, who is organising the programme for Zinc told me;
“The course is a combination of
mental health content, leadership development, coaching, personal development
and managing change. The Academy is being designed to be a platform for growth
in knowledge, awareness and impact in the mental health world alongside
personal and professional growth and development. We have secured an impressive array of experts who
will be providing course content and support from right across the mental
health landscape, from organisational and transformational development, to
personal development, coaching and leadership.”
that applications have been coming in from people from a diverse range of
backgrounds and experiences who have an interest in mental health and
particular topic areas within mental health.
“Applicants have come forward as
individuals, and we have been approached by employers willing to sponsor a
place for one or more of their staff as a key learning and development
opportunity and as a way of bringing expertise and leadership on mental health
back into the organisation.”
clever folks at Zinc seem to be onto something here, perhaps something that can
give people with a passion for mental health a platform that will help them,
their organisation, their family and the communities they live in.
even be an investment not just for a company’s mental health but for wider
forward to learning more and to hearing how the course goes and to seeing
whether the proof of concept case is made and made well.
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Gregor Henderson is Strategic Mental Health Adviser to Zinc and Director of Mental Health at Public Health England @Gregorwell