Project Title : Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace

Project Coordinator

MULLINGAR EMPLOYMENT ACTION GROUP

THE ENTERPRISE CENTRE BISHOPGATE STREET MULLINGAR , N91T028 WESTMEATH , Midland , IE

www.meag.ie

Project Partners:

KARABAGLAR KAYMAKAMLIGI (TR), Inn Training Ltd (UK , EKPAIDEFTIRIA KALOSKAMI S.A. (EL) , Agency for Territorial Marketing Ltd. / Agencija za trženje območij d.o.o. (SI) , Good2Talk Westmeath/Longford (IE) , DRAMBLYS (ES)

Access for disadvantaged ; Health and wellbeing ; Disabilities – special needs

Project Summary

Mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behaviour (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities.

Mental illness does not discriminate; it can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, geography, income, social status, race/ethnicity, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, background or other aspect of cultural identity.

Poor mental health has substantial personal and economic impacts across the European Union. Stigma and discrimination exacerbate these impacts. Consistently, the evidence points towards strongly negative attitudes towards people with mental health problems.

Mental illness is treatable.

Mental health first aid (MHFA) is the help offered to a person who is developing a mental health problem or who is experiencing a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional treatment is received or until the crisis resolves. It follows the model that has been successful with conventional first aid. We have occupational First Aid in the workplace but no Mental Health First Aid.

To put this project in context the following stats are published by EU-OSHA and WHO.

  • Each year, 25% of the population suffer from depression or anxiety
  • Up to 50% of chronic sick leaves are due to depression/anxiety
  • About 50% of major depressions are untreated
  • The total cost of mental ill health in Europe is €240 billion/per year
  • €136 billion/per year is the cost of reduced productivity including absenteeism
  • There are 228.7 million employees in the EU
  • The average person spends more than 90,000 hours in their lifetime at work
  • 91.4% of EU households have a working adult

The BeWELL project results will enable SME’s all over Europe to implement these important mental health initiatives, and incorporate them into how they do business, without financial strain. The results include;

  • Project Platform (website/app)
  • A handbook for Employers on how to implement MHFA in the workplace, to work in conjunction with the website and training videos.
  • An informative and training handbook for Employees to work in conjunction with the website and training videos.
  • Suite of Employee Training Videos
  • Suite of templates, forms and documents needed for the MHFA management system.
  • A suite of dissemination and promotional materials for running a Mental Health Awareness campaign in the workplace.
  • A campaign to have Occupational MHFA adopted as Best Practice in Europe

The main aims and objectives (impact) of BeWELL are;

  • To increase awareness among employers of the personal and economic cost of Mental Illness, and the benefits, personal and economic, of addressing this issue
  • To provide employers with a cost effective solution to address the issue of mental health in the workplace and comply with their regulatory duty of care
  • Eliminate stigma and address discrimination in the workplace by having MHFA form a fundamental part of H&S management systems in every workplace in Europe
  • Promote more inclusive workplace by helping people to help each other
  • To tackle the issue at EU Policy level to achieve this goal of Occupational MHFA being the recommended best practice solution.

Project partners have the requisite range or skills, experience, expertise and reach to deliver on this important project;

  • Mullingar Employment Action Group Ireland – working in the field of employment and enterprise support
  • Good2Talk Ireland – working in the field of counselling for mental health.
  • Dramblys Spain – works in the promotion of social innovation
  • Inn Training UK – specializing in training for the workplace, including OH&S and MHFA
  • Agency for Territorial Marketing Slovenia – working in sustainable development in training and social infrastructure
  • Ekpaideftiria Kaloskami S.A Greece – working in the field of VET
  • Karabağlar District Governorship Turkey – local authority working with Education, Health, Sports and Youth, Population and Citizenship Affairs

The management and coordination will be based on the Institute of Project Management system and tools that will ensure the correct information processing and will present clearly the decision making responsibilities and tasks by partner. Project management will be closely interlinked with Quality Assurance, Monitoring & Control and Evaluation processes.

The milestones of the project are summarized as follows;

  • Delivery of national ‘state of play’ reports from all partner jurisdictions, which will be compiled and reviewed with a view to inform the content of the intellectual outputs going forward
  • Delivery of draft versions of the intellectual outputs
  • Revision and pilot testing of the intellectual outputs
  • Final revision and translation of intellectual outputs followed by publication and ‘official launch’
  • Complementing the dissemination strategy which has its own targets and milestones, with a series of multiplier event