Mental Health & Productivity Pilot launches ‘Bridge the Gap, Start a Chat’ campaign

Date posted: August 9, 2021
Share
two people smile at the camera from the reception area at AECOM

The Midlands is leading the way in boosting workplace mental health by launching a new campaign – created by employers – encouraging open conversations in workplaces.

“Bridge the Gap, Start a Chat” has been launched by the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot (MHPP) to give businesses and organisations of all sizes and sectors across our region the help they need to encourage staff and bosses alike to open up about their mental health.

The campaign was created by MHPP with input from a group of ten Midlands employers from a variety of sectors and geographies and employees with lived experience of mental health problems.

It’s one of a number of ways that MHPP, a collaboration of Midlands universities, local authorities and mental health charity Mind, is supporting employers to understand the important link between staff mental health and wellbeing, and business productivity.

Research has shown that mental health is one of the biggest causes of sickness absences in Midlands businesses – and the impact of COVID-19 has recently become another key factor in poor mental health at work.

As well as tips and advice on starting conversations, for line managers and employees, employers can access a free ‘resource pack’ on the MHPP website, which gives resources and guidance to help them roll out a campaign to encourage conversations about mental health in their own organisation.

The pack includes campaign planning guidance, downloadable resources to support both employees and line managers to start conversations and awareness-raising promotional materials such as posters, social media assets, video call backgrounds and email signature banners – all of which employers can use to suit the needs of the business.

Manjinder Singh, Head of Consulting at infrastructure consulting firm AECOM which contributed to the campaign, felt it was a great way for businesses to take the first step into making a huge difference to staff mental health and productivity.

As a business we began to place a spotlight on the topic of mental health some years ago, recognising the importance of wellbeing in creating a culture of care that enables our people to bring their best selves to work.

Through Midlands Engine’s Mental Health & Productivity Pilot (MHPP) we can share lessons learned from our journey with other organisations, adding diversity of thought to discussions on the role of employers in supporting mental health.

In the current global climate, it is more important than ever that people know it is OK to talk openly about mental health in the workplace. We hope that MHPP will help remove some of the stigma surrounding this topic for businesses and their employees in the region.

And Sinziana Irimia, who was diagnosed with postpartum depression while working for her current employer, thought Bridge the Gap, Start a Chat was key to supporting employees to feel comfortable with talking about their mental health at work.

No one should feel they have to hide mental health conditions at work. For so many years it has been seen as a weakness, but that’s far from the truth.

It is essential to be able to talk openly with your colleagues about mental health. Just knowing that someone else has been in your shoes and they are still standing and can get on with their lives – that’s important.

This campaign will get employees feeling more confident to open up to talking about mental health in the workplace, which will make a massive difference to people’s wellbeing with a direct impact on their performance at work.

MHPP is funded by Midlands Engine and is led by Coventry University in partnership with the University of Warwick, the West Midlands Combined Authority, mental health charity Mind and the universities of Birmingham, Derby, Lincoln, Loughborough and Nottingham.

Prior to the campaign launch MHPP has been helping employers across the Midlands to take steps to support and improve the mental health of their workforce, and ultimately increase productivity.

For the latest on our region, subscribe to Midlands Matters, the official newsletter of the Midlands Engine.
Share

Keep Updated

Latest News & Events

Openreach at work 01

Digital

May 28 2024

Openreach’s broadband upgrade set to benefit communities in the Midlands

Communities across the Midlands are set to benefit from Openreach’s huge broadband upgrade with full fibre heading to over 90 towns in the region.

Read more
ESAIF launch at UKREiiF

Economic Opportunities

May 28 2024

D2N2 LEP Chair, Elizabeth Fagan, launches £8m Early Stage Angel Investment Fund at UKREiiF

D2N2 LEP Chair Elizabeth Fagan announced the launch of D2N2 LEP’s Early Stage Angel Investment Fund at the UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF) in Leeds (21 - 23 May).

Read more
East Midlands Freeport Green Corridors

Transport

May 23 2024

Freeport East and East Midlands Freeport Sign Green Freight Corridor Initiative

Freeport East and East Midlands Freeport have announced a new partnership to support a green freight corridor that will help decarbonise transport and drive enhanced skills and employment initiatives along the length of one of the UK’s most important transportation routes.

Read more
An electric vehicle charging

Subscribe to Midlands Matters, the newsletter of the Midlands Engine