Centre for Mental Health
H7. Mental Health and Wellbeing
1 January, 2013
Submitted: 10 August, 2012
Centre for Mental Health considers that lived experience of mental health problems can contribute positively to an individuals understanding of the barriers facing people in society who experience mental health difficulties, i.e. people who are the ultimate beneficiaries of the work which the Centre undertakes. Therefore the Centre states that personal experience of own, or family, mental health issues is a desirable criterion when recruiting our staff. In order to provide a fair and equal opportunity for people with mental health problems to gain employment with our organisation we offer work experience such as internships, reasonable adjustments for interview e.g. additional time to complete assessments, a supporter at interview and the opportunity to see interview questions a few minutes before the interview takes place.Once someone with a mental health condition becomes a member of staff they are encouraged to say as little or as much as they are comfortable to say about their mental health. The Centre has benefited from the use of Access to Work funding for personal external support for an employee with Bipolar Disorder. Time off for medical appointments is granted and flexible working to accommodate mental health ups and downs will be arranged, such as working at home if the journey into work is occasionally too distressing or exhausting, the ability to start and finish work later in the day than normal, or temporary relief from particularly stressful work activities such as dealing with incoming reception phone calls. New staff who have a mental health condition are encouraged to access informal support from others within the staff team who can empathise with their condition. Centre for Mental Healths Employee Assistance Programme and Occupational Health Services can give advice for people experiencing ongoing mental health difficulties and counselling services are available through the EAP and will be arranged where necessary for staff who require this.