Midlands Engine award £6.8 million funding to support employee mental health and increased productivity

Date posted: May 16, 2019
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Midlands Engine are delighted to announce during Mental Health week its intention to award £6.8 million in funding to a partnership of Midlands organisations for a three-year programme of work to address the impact mental health in the workplace has on productivity.

As part of the Midlands Engine strategy, a Midlands Skills Challenge was set up to discover ways to close the skills gap between the Midlands and the rest of the country.

As part of the Skills Challenge, the new Mental Health and Productivity pilot will find innovative ways to reduce levels of sickness absence and the number of people falling out of work due to mental health conditions.

The funding, which has come via central government, was awarded after a competitive tender process to a partnership will be led by Coventry University and supported by the University of Warwick and the West Midlands Combined Authority. The partnership includes 20 organisations from across the Midlands, including business, local authorities, Public Health, Charities, NHS Midlands, Midlands Innovation Universities and the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Midlands Engine Programme Director Fiona Piercy said:

“Mental health has a huge impact on productivity with 15.4 million working days lost every year due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2017/18*”

“This pilot is a fantastic opportunity for the Midlands to find new and proven ways to support people with mental health conditions to remain in work and be effective in their roles.”

“It cannot be underestimated the positive impact this work could bring to our region and I am delighted to be working with our chosen partners to achieve this.”

Professor Guy Daly, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, said:

“Over the next three years, the Midlands Engine Mental Health Productivity Pilot will engage with over 1,600 businesses, train 45,000 staff and offer a free online resource that aims to reach one million people.”

“Together we will deliver a step change in the support offered to employers and employees, which will deliver better mental health, leading to higher levels of productivity across all types of organisations in the East and West Midlands.”

Professor Caroline Meyer, from University of Warwick Medical School and WMG, said:

“I am delighted to be leading the University of Warwick arm of this Midlands Engine project. Working in close collaboration with our partners at Loughborough University and the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham, we will gather and pilot interventions that we believe will make a huge difference to employees and employers across the whole region and further. A step change in activity is required to address poor mental health and help people to thrive at work.”

“The workplace provides a unique opportunity to identify and support those people who might otherwise receive no intervention, as well as supporting those with existing problems. The result of this project will be tools that will enable us to do deliver these things.”

* Source: Labour Force Survey www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/lfs/index.htm

Please contact info@midlandsengine for further enquires.

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