Stress and mental health problems are the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, costing employers almost £35 billion each year.
Black Country Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with local mental health charity and Chamber member, Dudley Mind, to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health at work and put employee wellbeing firmly on the Black Country business agenda.
The partnership will see both organisations working together to increase knowledge and awareness of stress and mental health problems among Chamber members and other businesses in the Black Country, but also to encourage employers to create mentally healthy workplaces.
Corin Crane, chief executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said: “As a Chamber, we recognise that mental health is an issue which affects every employer regardless of size or sector, and the cost to both the individual and business can be significant.
“That’s why we’re delighted to be working with Dudley Mind to promote better employee well-being amongst our members and the wider business community in the Black Country.”
Mark Evans, who leads on workplace wellbeing at Dudley Mind, said: “Working in partnership with the Black Country Chamber of Commerce is a fantastic opportunity to really engage with local employers on mental health.
“There’s a strong business case; healthier employees take less time off sick, stay longer, are more engaged and more productive.
“It really does pay to invest in the wellbeing of your staff and we’re looking forward to supporting employers to take a proactive approach to mental health.”
In addition, the announcement of the partnership sees the launch of the CEX Challenge, an initiative to get local business leaders to show their commitment to better workplace mental health by signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge.
The campaign is calling on Chamber members to take action and demonstrate their commitment to tackling mental ill-health at work by signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge - a commitment to change the way employers think and act about mental health.
The Black Country Chamber is 1 of 52 accredited Chambers of Commerce. As a membership organisation, it represents around 1,500 businesses who employ over 67,500 employees across Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
Dudley Mind is an independent charity and is affiliated to Mind, one of the UK’s leading mental health charities. The charity provides mental health support services to both individuals and organisations.