I’m really pleased to announce that I'm taking on the mantle of Civil Service Health and Well-being Champion.
This is an area I’m passionate about. I strongly believe that we all achieve our best when we can bring our whole self to work - and that when we work in an environment that supports us as people as well as employees, it has a positive impact on our physical health and mental well-being.
This subject has been close to my heart for some years. In a previous role, as CEO of the Financial Ombudsman Service, our work on well-being helped us reach 25th position in the Sunday Times list of the ‘100 best companies to work for'. Now, as CEO of the Courts and Tribunals Service, creating a healthy and supportive environment for our people, particularly as we go through change, is high on my list of priorities. I have a lot of ideas on what we can do in the Civil Service to make it an even greater place to work, and am keen to work with others who are similarly passionate about health and well-being.
A healthier 'you'
Looking after ourselves should be a priority at all times, at work just as much as outside work. For example, are you taking the One You challenge? You might have seen the ad on as you’re walking down the street or on TV. Why not download the One You activity or easy meal apps and find out more. This campaign is here to help us all stay healthy or get back to a healthier ‘you’.
Also, let’s not forget that Civil Service Live, the annual learning event and showcase for the organisation, is coming up in a couple of months. I hope you will join us at the ‘Talking about Mental Health’ sessions. It will be a great opportunity to hear from people who will be sharing their own personal mental health experiences. We’ve also got some practical ‘Live well, work well’ sessions planned. These will focus on the three Civil Service well-being priorities: mental health, musculoskeletal disorders and a healthy lifestyle.
Registration for CSL is now open, so book your place and make sure you don’t miss out.
I’m looking forward to meeting and working with you all and hearing your ideas for improving well-being in the Civil Service.
Comment by S posted on
Check out what the South West Region have done with assigning Mental Health First Aiders, perhaps it is something you can look into implementing Nationally.
Comment by Vicky posted on
I have recently read the blog article from DECC by Stephen Lovegrove. His department have put in place a well being and mental health group to support suffers and those that want to help. Can I hope that this will be considered for HMCTS
Comment by clerk posted on
I applaud you sentiments and I think Health & Wellbeing has been overlooked or de-prioritised for
too long.When last years people results came in at our court as part of last years staff engagement group we were asked to look at results and pick 3 'Hot Topics' to focus on for the coming year.My colleagues and I picked Health & Wellbeing as something we felt was important to focus on. The reply back from our Senior Management was NO.Pick 3 topics from all of the other headings on the survey.Health & Wellbeing was not an appropriate topic. This was extremely disappointing as It's obvious to most people that if you look after or encourage Good Health & Wellbeing the effect on the business could and would be huge. I look forward to seeing how this area moves forward and hope Managers start realising the importance of it.
Comment by Patrick posted on
Of course Managers will realise the importance they have been told too.
Comment by Gavin Thomas posted on
Natalie, Welcome and congratulations on your appointment as the Civil Service Health and Well-being Champion. As a member of the FCO Wellbeing Network, it is encouraging to hear of your passion and support. Apart from seeking to provide a peer support network within the FCO, we also seek to work in collaboration with our other Whitehall Partners and have regular meeting with our colleagues who work in the Home Office in Marsham Street. Regards, Gavin Thomas
Comment by Julia Taylor posted on
Thanks Natalie, this is a really good article with some excellent links to the One You campaign which I have to admit I hadn't really taken much notice of before. I've shared it with the Regional Support Unit here in Manchester to make sure everyone has spotted it and will be downloading the One You app. I'll also be using the One You site to inform future Health and Wellbeing activities.
Comment by Charlotte Smith posted on
One of the first things i would do if i were champion is ensure that every building has a Defiblerator in the building. If private sector and public transport stations can afford them, so can we. At the moment DWP is leaving itself wide open to being sued because the age old addage of it being too expensive just wont wash. By having one, you are implementing and showing that you are fulfilling a duty of care. As a trained first aider i know how to administer CPR but the defiblerator will save lives too.
Also i would ensure every office has a wi fit and large tv screen to be used to exercise with and an exercise room made available to staff who wish to work out in their lunch break or before/after work.
As to mental health, for far too long lip service has been paid to this. When i started working for DWP over 20 years ago i did not have depression. But as a result of workplace bullying and other factors outside work, i now have to take medication to supress depression as much as can be done. So what about steps to help those on a downswing? How about additional days off work without being penalised for being sick 8 days or more. Or what about installing a fish tank in the main foyer of buildings which would bring a smile to many.
I hope some of these ideas will be taken on board. How about taking another look at what the workplace canteen offers and work in conjunction with them to produce healthy meals and at the same time promote cultural awareness by having themed days by holding a Middle Eastern Day as that is exciting, healthy and fun food. Or a French cooking day or Mexico Day.
I could go on but i hope these ideas are of benefit and we can have some fun whilst promoting awareness on serious health issues.
Comment by Julia Taylor posted on
Re Charlotte's comments, we were given a number of defibs for our building (Manchester Civil Justice Centre) free of charge. Allied London, the owner of most of the buildings around us here in Spinningfields, are aiming to provide these via the ambulance service for every building within their estate and also hope to provide some on street machines. They are also providing training in their use. First aid courses also include defib training.
Comment by Charlotte Smith posted on
I am glad to hear that your office building has been fitted with an AED, but that is the exception to the rule. Many DWP offices have not got one, some offices have had to fundraise for one to be bought and installed. This in my opinion is not good. An AED should be in all DWP offices and buildings as standard procedure. Just like they are at all the railway and bus stations for example.