10.12.2019

Mental Health: The Dirty Secret Nobody Talks About

Better Safety Health & Safety Consultant
 Show Interest

Mental Health: The Dirty Secret Nobody Talks About

 Show Interest
Mental Health is the rising star in many health and safety circles. It has not yet reached the peak because there is so far yet to go.

There are training courses for mental health first aid, campaigns such as mates in mind and the all-important focus on talking to our work colleagues and friends.

One thing that is lacking on this critical topic, which seems to be overlooked by many organisations at the moment is domestic abuse (formally called “domestic violence.”)

Domestic abuse affects as many as 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the United Kingdom. It impacts people of all ages, all religions, all sexual orientations, all ethnicities and all levels of organisation structures. From a senior director in a multi-national corporation, to the person who sweeps the floor, domestic abuse is a serious and sorely misunderstood topic.

Why is this important for employers?

A person who experiences domestic abuse may make lots of excuses for not coming to work at short or no notice at all. This means the individual can be seen as letting the company down, not a team player or worse, a bad employee.

There is a lot of information that suggests men are far less likely to tell anyone they are a victim of domestic abuse than a female. Even for female employees, it can take over 2 years before they confide in anyone.

How is this linked to mental health?

Imagine a person who is working 60 hours per week away from home. Now imagine that person is having all of their money taken from them. Or worse, imagine that person is a named debtor for utilities or council tax and their partner has not paid the bill? For occupations such as accountancy, legal or sensitive positions within government, this could have dramatic effects on the mental health of a person.

Imagine a parent who is being constantly threatened with having their child taken from them or being accused of cheating with co-workers when they work late at the office?

Imagine being told your partner would kill themselves if you left them, and then you need to go to work that day.

Imagine being kept awake at night after working all day, deliberately.

Imagine the fear of going to work and wondering what your partner has messaged your boss about you after an argument the night before?

All of the above are very real examples of domestic abuse.

What impact would any one of the above have on you as an individual? Would it cause you upset? Would you be able to focus in work? Would people believe you if you told them?

How employers can help

Domestic abuse is a growing concern throughout the United Kingdom. Very few safety and health professionals have experience in supporting policies and procedures for such events. This also applies to HR professionals too.

Do you have a Domestic Abuse Policy in work?

Have you trained your HR, Health and Safety, Senior management teams in domestic abuse awareness?

S4M provide fully accredited training in understanding domestic abuse, recognising signs and symptoms and how to create a domestic abuse policy.

Our courses start in April 2020 and can provide your business with valuable insight into addressing a significant mental health topic that nobody is talking about.

For more information, please contact S4M.

S4M provides domestic abuse training for all employers. Training is not biased towards any gender. Domestic abuse is wrong in all forms.

All income from training supports front-line domestic abuse services.

All S4M administrative costs are donated by Better Safety.

Carl Mannion is an advocate of ending domestic abuse and helping male victims to overcome barriers to reporting.
  • Mental health
  • Mental Health Training
  • Mental Health Facilitating
  • mental health coaching
  • Mental health awareness
Better Safety Health & Safety Consultant

I am a Chartered Safety Practitioner with over a decade of experience in both operational and strategic management of safety and health.

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