Midlands Engine awarded funding of £6.8m in 2019 to a consortium of over 20 partners who are now working together to enhance workplace wellbeing across the Midlands.
Led by Coventry University, in partnership with the University of Warwick, the West Midlands Combined Authority and the mental health charity Mind, the Midlands Engine Mental Health and Productivity Pilot aims to break down barriers faced by people experiencing mental ill-health and support their return to and continuation in work.
Poor mental health today has a huge impact on our economy. According to a recent report published by Deloitte in January 2020 (Mental Health and Employers: Refreshing the Case for Investment), one in six employees are affected by mental issues in the workplace, at an estimated annual cost to UK employers of £42bn – £45bn.
Working with around 2000 large and small employers from different sectors, the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot will gather and analyse data from employers, to understand how much they know about their role in supporting employee mental wellbeing.
Through collaborative working with partners including Public Health England, NHS and experts from five other universities across the region, an evidence-based model is being created that will shape new and existing practical interventions to boost employee health and workplace productivity.
The direction of the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot is shaped by a Strategic Advisory Board, which held its inaugural meeting in January 2020. Chaired by Professor Dame Julie Moore, the Board comprises senior stakeholders from health and wellbeing in the NHS and Public Health England as well as from industry. Members include Sir Norman Lamb; Paul Farmer CEO of Mind; Steve Gilbert OBE, Serious Mental Illness – Living Experience Consultant, WMCA; Christian van Stolk, RAND Europe; Dr Steve Illey, Chief Medical Officer, Jaguar Land Rover.
Addressing the first Board, Dame Julie said:
I am proud to be a part of this important and critical pilot in the Midlands and I urge businesses – small and large – to get behind it so that we can start positive and open conversations around mental health in the workplace.
The website www.mhpp.me was launched on 1st February 2020 and has information on the programme together with how employers can join in and benefit from the work. Until its launch please contact the MHPP team at email@example.com or follow on Twitter @mhpp_mids.