Written by Amy Morley
Aspectus has always been a company that cares deeply about its employees. Its benefit package which includes comprehensive medical insurance, subsidised gym membership and up to six months fully paid maternity pay, is, I believe the best in the business. Caring for our people is embedded in our company culture and our values and it is one of the main reasons I have worked here for over a decade.
However, we have until now never had a policy on mental health. While we are proud of the comprehensive support we have been able to provide colleagues and friends in an informal way, statistics on mental health are truly shocking. And we felt compelled to put more rigour behind our approach. According to a survey carried out by the PRCA last year 59% of PR and communications practitioners have suffered from mental ill health. A similar study by Mind found that after being diagnosed with a mental health condition fewer than half of employees told their bosses. This suggests that most employees fear that admitting a mental health condition will jeopardise their position at work. Less than half of employees (41%) said they would feel able to talk openly with their line manager if they were experiencing stress.
We want to ensure that all our employees, no matter what their position feel comfortable speaking to someone within the company about any mental health challenges they may face.
Today we launched our mental health charter and guide to demonstrate our commitment to creating a culture that promotes positive mental health and fully supports employees who do experience mental health problems by helping them to manage these. We will also be running training sessions for managers to help to increase awareness of mental health problems and ensure these are handled appropriately when they do arise.
We all have mental health and just like physical health it can fluctuate on a spectrum from thriving to poor. The good news is that in many cases an individual can have a serious mental health problem but with the right support can still thrive at work. As well as putting measures in place to ensure we spot the signs of mental health problems early we want to ensure anyone at Aspectus who does suffer from a mental health problem feels fully supported.