New Acas advice on creating a positive mental health environment at work

Maricruz Casares
May 14, 2019

"Businesses can't claim to put their employees first without destigmatising mental health, introducing bespoke programmes that are created to support their workforce and acknowledging that we all have mental and physical health and we will all experience issues with it".

A third of adults have felt anxious over their body image, researchers say.

Women were more badly affected than men, with 11 per cent of Scots women admitting they had "deliberately hurt themselves" due to their body image.

To mark the start of Mental Health Awareness week, we take a look a closer look at why negative body image is affecting more people from a younger age. But men are also affected by body image.

Julie Cameron, of Mental Health Foundation Scotland, said: "One of the most compelling insights from our survey was that commercial, social media and advertising pressures on body image are contributing to mental health problems for millions of people".

He added: "For some people this is potentially very severe, with large numbers saying they have self-harmed or had suicidal thoughts and feelings".

This is a cause for concern and it's clear that active steps need to be taken to support the wellbeing of all staff.

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"This could be enforced by the proposed new independent regulator, which is already part of the government proposals".

Paul Browett, 35, of Glasgow, said social media, TV and celebrities had helped to fuel his insecurities.

Glasgow University student Kelly Macarthur has spent years with an eating disorder and now unfollows anyone who tries to sell diet products on social media. If they only show one body size then this becomes a social norm, which is risky. "They should look like themselves and nothing more".

It's Mental Health Awareness Week, and business insurance specialist QBE has released the findings of its survey aimed at highlighting the impact of mental health support - or the lack of it - in the workplace. This will be the focus of my visit to Girlguiding Scotland, where I'll outline the aims of our new advisory group.

Only 14% of 2,000 workers polled said they felt comfortable discussing their mental health worries at work, compared with 42% of workers who felt able to talk about physical conditions.

MHFA England chief executive Simon Blake OBE said: "Despite the increased awareness around mental health in the workplace, employees are telling us that there is still a significant gap in how we think and act about physical and mental health at work". One in five of all United Kingdom adults and 46% of 18-24-year-olds said images on social media had caused them to worry about their body image.

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