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Derby charity Stress Aid teams up with agency Fifteen

Derby charity Stress Aid and digital agency Fifteen are teaming up to improve the City’s workplace mental wellbeing, as part of April’s national Stress Awareness Month.

The digital campaign #FAOStress highlights the importance of improved mental health awareness in the workplace and uses the opportunity to discuss the message that it’s okay to seek counselling from career stress.

The issue is one which is highly relevant across the nation at the moment. In January the Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced measures to better support people with mental health issues in the workplace, with the PM vowing to reduce the stigma around mental illness.

A survey by the Institute of Directors (IoD) estimates that over half of British employers have experienced mental health problems in staff. However just 14-per-cent have a formal mental health policy in place.

“There’s a common misconception that you should only seek counselling for something grief-related, or a huge event in your life.” Tim Almy, Director at Derby Stress Aid, explains: “People often hesitate before coming to us about something work-related, which they worry may be seen as trivial or just part-and-parcel of the job. We want to change that view and get out the message that there really is no issue too small to seek counselling from.”

The campaign aims to educate employers on ways to improve mental wellbeing amongst their employees’ and provides them with resources to reach out to any staff who may benefit from counselling, in the form of a free downloadable brochure.

“We really want to give employers an opportunity to embrace this shared vision of positive workplace mentality across the city.” Mr Almy says: “By raising awareness to this issue and providing them with the necessary supporting resources, we hope that many local businesses will join our pledge to improve the city’s positive working environments.”

A series of adverts for the campaign raise awareness of mental health struggles in a workplace, showing the secret stress that staff may be experiencing under a happy-guise.

The #FAOStress campaign was created by Fifteen, a digital agency based in Ilkeston. Fifteen’s partnership with Stress Aid began earlier this year, as part of a company-wide resolution to improve mental health in the workplace. As a result, the agency is supporting the charity, providing voluntary digital services to them throughout the year.

After seeing an improved sense of wellbeing as a result of the company-wide policy, Director Ollie Piddubriwyj was keen to spread the idea to other businesses: “Our staff morale has gone through the roof since we began our year-of-wellbeing incentive. We’re like a family here and it’s great to know that it’s made a difference in the team’s daily work lives.”

Stress Aid, run by Derby Counselling Centre, has been established since 1981. It is a not-for-profit charity that offers affordable counselling, especially to people who are experiencing financial hardship.

The #FAOStress campaign will run on social media during April, with the free packs available to anyone interested. To find out more visit www.derbycounsellingcentre.org or the charity’s Facebook page @DerbyCounsellingCentre. To request your free pack, email stressaid@hotmail.co.uk or call 01332 366863.

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