Councillors were this week updated on the positive effects Aberdeen City Council’s innovative Mental Health Action Plan is having on staff requiring support.
The Council’s Staff Governance Committee was updated on how the revised plan, approved by the Council in February 2022, has been helping staff affected by mental health issues in the last 12 months.
Following consultation with feedback groups prior to implementation, it was determined that the following should be the focus for outcomes:
1. A targeted programme of support and tools which is easily accessible by all staff - Webpages with a range of support tools are accessible by all staff while projects have been undertaken to target specific groups of staff who have been identified as requiring additional information and support;
2. A culture within which mental health and substance misuse issues are proactively supported and destigmatised- A working group has been formed to review on ongoing basis the policy and support on substance misuse with managers and staff being made aware of where support is available. This has been supported by targeted campaigns aimed at enabling cessation of substance misuse and destigmatising the issue;
3. Management training, support and development which empowers managers to support their teams confidently and appropriately – Via a suite of training and tools available across the organisation, managers can signpost employees to support and help maintain positive wellbeing
4. Data reporting which allows the organisation to access and interrogate the data in order to target interventions proactively – Data analysis has led to specifically targeted groups depending on the actual trend identified e.g. access to physical exercise opportunities for those working in sedentary positions
5. Reduce the total overall absences that are due to psychological reasons - The overall absence rates among employees for psychological reasons has decreased from 26.24 in 2020 to 22.4% in 2022.
Committee Convener, Councillor Neil Copland, said: “The revised Mental Health Action Plan with its focused outcomes is clearly having a positive impact and staff in need of support are reaping the benefits.
“The review of our interventions is over the last 12 months is very encouraging and we will continue to provide support tools to best meet the needs of our staff”.
Vice-Convener, Councillor Gill-Al-Samarai, said: “The wellbeing of our employees is one of our highest priorities and it is really heartening to learn that, with a targeted approach, we are achieving such good outcomes in those areas which are the main focus for supporting health and wellbeing among our staff.”