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by DTM Legal

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Providing body image support in the workplace

Published on Business stage: Scaling, Starting, Thinking, Unlocking

Emily Witter, of commercial legal advice firm DTM Legal, provides some tips for mental health support in the workplace…

Last week, we at DTM Legal announced our new charity of the year, Mind. Mind’s primary focus is to make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone.

As well as running a programme of activities to raise money for Mind, we’ll be posting regular blog posts on our website to help inform business owners on best practices to support mental health awareness in the workplace.

The first in the blog series focuses on Body Image, which was also the main focus of the #EndTheStigma campaign for last week’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

Body image in the workplace

Work plays a massive role in body image and how we observe our own bodies. This can be due to the nature of our jobs, the workplace culture, or the types of people that we interact with.  Having body image concerns is not a mental health ‘problem’ in itself; however, it can be a risk factor for mental health problems.

As employers, we must ensure that help is available to individuals who may need it, at all levels within our organisation.  Our support must be inclusive (not intrusive) with an understanding that body image is a complex, and often very personal experience at the forefront of our minds.

A few suggestions to think about during Mental Health Awareness Week:

  1. Implement a mental health and wellbeing policy and communicate to all employees.
  2. Train managers in mental health first aid so that they are more adept at recognising the possible symptoms someone in mental distress could present.
  3. Prioritise wellbeing by designing action plans (WAPs) to support the mental health of your team members.
  4. Encourage organisational employee networks to provide individuals with a safe environment in which they can share their stories with people who can empathise.
  5. Implement volunteer days to enable your teams to support charities or causes that resonate with them.
  6. Promote flexible working to de-stress through exercise and mindfulness, attend counselling or meet mentors / career coaches.

There are a wealth of free resources to also help challenge misconceptions and support people’s mental health and wellbeing, including:

There is also a new text service called Shout, contactable on 85258, backed by the Royal Foundation and offering the UK’s first free text support service for those in crisis.

To find out more about DTM Legal you can visit its website or call 0151 321 0000.

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