View from the Chamber – 16.5.18

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This week is Mental Health Awareness Week.

At Lochaber Chamber of Commerce we are proud of our efforts to raise awareness of mental health issues at work.

During last year’s ‘Lochaber Ideas Week’ Alastair Campbell delivered a moving and very personal Charles Kennedy Lecture on the importance of friendship in dealing with mental health and addiction. We also ran an inspiring workshop on mental health at work with young entrepreneur-turned- mental health campaigner Josh Quigley, a young man who struggled with his own mental health issues despite apparently ‘having it all’ in terms of business success.

Josh’s story starkly demonstrated how the gap between how we ‘seem’ and how we ‘are’ can impact health and well-being.

Thankfully, businesses are becoming increasingly aware that personal issues don’t just stop at the office door – they can have a real impact on working life.

Last year’s report ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’ (available at www.mentalhealth.org.uk) showed the extent of the effects that mental health issues can have in business.

For many of us, work is a major part of our lives. Therefore, good workplaces can be a key factor in supporting and protecting mental health, while toxic workplaces can be corrosive to mental health. According to the report, 15 per cent of working adults are living with symptoms of a mental health problem, but only half that have experienced mental health problems have disclosed it at work – statistics from the Department of Work and Pensions reveal that 300,000 people with a long-term mental health problem leave the UK workforce each year.

It is to everyone’s benefit that mental health is increasingly acknowledged as a ‘health’ issue like any other that people can be open about in order to seek support.

To become part of an active and engaged business network that helps you share experiences and information, access support and Is responsive to your business needs, join Lochaber Chamber of Commerce today. Call us on 01397 705 765 or visit www.lochaberchamber.co.uk