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‘There’s still a long way to go’ - Panel discusses mental health in the workplace

PUBLISHED: 18:23 06 March 2020 | UPDATED: 18:23 06 March 2020

Open Up at The Open event in Norwich. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Open Up at The Open event in Norwich. Picture: Neil Didsbury

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Those at the forefront of championing good mental health in workplaces across Norfolk have said there is still a long way to go when in it comes to workplace wellbeing.

OPEN Up event Photocall. David Powles Editor of EDP, Hayley Gerrard - OPEN, Nelsons Journey - Jess Moses, Ormiston Families - Volunteers, Active Norfolk- Sam Watts, Leeway| Domestic Abuse Charity- Gabriella Harvey Mobbs, Wellbeing Service- Ben Ryan, Helen Bridge & Gemma Nobbs from Aviva and Lambert Construction- sponsors. Pictures: Brittany WoodmanOPEN Up event Photocall. David Powles Editor of EDP, Hayley Gerrard - OPEN, Nelsons Journey - Jess Moses, Ormiston Families - Volunteers, Active Norfolk- Sam Watts, Leeway| Domestic Abuse Charity- Gabriella Harvey Mobbs, Wellbeing Service- Ben Ryan, Helen Bridge & Gemma Nobbs from Aviva and Lambert Construction- sponsors. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Kieran Miles of Duco, James Groves, of Indigo Swan, chef Charlie Hodson and Shannon Turnbull, a Thriving Workplaces Health Facilitator, took part in an open discussion on wellbeing in the workplace as part of an all day event focussing on mental health.

Called Open Up at Open, the free to attend event, saw more than 500 people attend a day of talks, workshops and more covering everything from where to seek mental health advice to standards of care and real-life stories.

Mr Miles said he thought change started with an understanding that workplaces and work had changed, he said: "I think we all live in a 24-hour culture, we take work home and home to work, we check emails, social media is 24-hours and flexible working, the landscape has essentially changed and we still have a stigma which is attached to a working day of nine to five.

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"I think there's a seismic change that needs to happen and through programs like this and conversations like this today which hopefully should change that because the workplace environment has changed and we shouldn't forget that."

Ms Turnbull said people needed to remember mental health was, just like physical health, something everybody has.

She said: "We all have mental health and it's the negative connotations of just mental health that people seem to pick up on, we could have no physical health without mental health and it's visa versa and it doesn't mean that you can't help somebody or learn to support someone and it is exhausting and have to look after your own self care as well. It's about educating people and everyone being on the same level playing field.

"I think we've come so, so far in being able to talk about mental health, we've come such a long way but there's still a long way to go."

James Groves added: "Mental health is vast, there's so many different things that can affect people's mental health.

"For me as a leader is about having those conversations as early as possible and being observant, watch everybody when they walk in the door everyday, seem how they seem, ask if they're okay."

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