Businesses across the Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge area are being invited to an evening workshop to help them address mental health issues within the workplace.

The workshops are being held in venues across Somerset with the local one being held on Monday 27th March from 6-8pm at Highbridge Enterprise Centre in Highbridge.

The sessions are being run by Devon & Somerset Trading Standards Service in partnership with New Leaf Life Design, a Taunton-based accredited counselling provider, and Mindful Employer, an initiative run by Devon Partnership NHS Trust to help staff who have a mental health condition.

Recent research shows that employees in only 37% of Small and Medium Enterprises would tell their employer if a mental health issue was the reason for an unplanned absence.

The aim of these sessions is to raise awareness of mental health conditions in the workplace and to help employers understand the issues and get the right balance between supporting their staff and meeting the needs of their organisation.

Becky Wright, lead trainer at New Leaf Life Design, pictured, said: “We know in the UK almost one in three people have experienced mental health issues while in employment. Mental ill-health is one of the leading causes of sickness absence in the UK, costing an average of £1,035 per employee per year.”

“We need to change this by raising awareness of mental health for employers in SMEs in Somerset.”

Councillor David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Deputy Leader with responsibility for Trading Standards, added: “We are pleased to be able to help employers support their staff with these training and information sessions.”

“Our aim is to promote a positive approach for employers so they are better prepared and have the tools needed to address mental health within the workplace if and when they occur.”

The sessions will also help employers provide support networks, information, and to create a working environment where staff members can feel more able to talk about mental health.

Pictured: Becky Wright, lead trainer at New Leaf Life Design