Bishop of St Albans asks whether workplace chaplains can help employees experiencing mental health issues

On 1st November 2017 Lord Haskel asked Her Majesty’s Government “what is their response to the review of mental health and employers, Thriving at Work, published on 26 October.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, there are many valuable statistics in the report, but also some quite worrying ones. Apparently 35% of the people interviewed thought that if they had had depression they would be far less likely to get any sort of promotion, while half of those interviewed said that they would not be willing to discuss mental health issues with their line manager. First, in the light of that, is there not a pressing need for a new public mental health awareness campaign? Secondly, will the Minister look into the contribution that workplace chaplaincy can make to addressing this problem?

Baroness Buscombe: My Lords, I hope that we can continue to use this report and the response to the review as part of building awareness of that. The right reverend Prelate is absolutely right. We understand more than in the past that mental health conditions are a barrier to work but, if we can help more people into employment, work can be part of the solution for many. I very much take on board his suggestion that workplace chaplaincy is an example of where people can seek guidance and help. Sometimes it is important to think about whether it can be done very quietly and anonymously. There is a lot to think through. The review is an enormous step forward. We want to become one of the leading nations in the world in supporting mental health.


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