Award-winning entrepreneur, investor and honorary professor Vikas Shah says that it’s time for businesses to make tangible steps around mental health in the workplace.
Swiscot Group CEO Shah, who will be speaking at BusinessCloud’s ‘Opening up on mental health’ event on July 3rd, says that there are key things that businesses can do to better support their workers.
“It’s time to stop with campaign after campaign after campaign around mental health, and get down to some concrete action instead,” he told us.
“I would make it law to include mental health first aid in business first aid at work policy.”
The current culture surrounding mental health in business is changing for the better but there is still a way to go, according to Shah, who has spoken out about his own struggles with mental health.
“With a few unfortunate exceptions, most businesses I know of are quite progressive and understanding when it comes to dealing with stress, mental health and any other issue on the gamut of human problems,” he said.
It is ultimately not a huge change but a cultural shift that is needed – and for workers to realise they are protected in the event that they are affected.
“First and foremost, if you are treated differently (or worse) in the workplace because of your mental health condition, this is discrimination – pure and simple – and our laws give you the right, and mechanisms, to challenge this,” he said.
“What we’re looking at here is not some big overarching new vision for mental health from business, but rather that businesses simply commit to be aware of and look after the mental health of their teams in the same way they give responsibility to diet and posture as part of occupational health.”
The event, held in conjunction with business psychologists Carter Corson, will take place at KPMG’s offices in Manchester on Monday June 3rd from 5.30-7.30pm.
Other panellists include Sam Jones, managing director and co-founder, Tunafish; Laura Wolfe, managing director, Wolfe; Mylo Kaye, CEO, Dreamr; James Routledge, founder, Sanctus; Rupert Cornford, head of business relationships and communications, Carter Corson; Tom Smith, former Lancashire County Cricket Club captain; Hannah Johnson, director, Carter Corson; Tom New, co-founder and CPO, Nudgr/Formisimo; and Dr Libby Artingstall, consultant psychiatrist/director Team Mental Health.