Mental health, social isolation, and financial stress: Christmas in COVID-19 (Podcast interview)

One of the exciting new projects I have been involved in is the launch of a new podcast: Real World Public Mental Health. This podcast was developed as a forum to discuss how evidence can be used in the real world to prevent mental health problems and promote better mental health. It is hosted by Stu King of the Behavioural Science and Public Health Network in partnership with a bunch of collaborators, including our NIHR Public Mental Health Programme and Public Health England.

I was delighted to participate in the second episode, which has just been released. In this episode, I join Ed Davie and Caron Walker to discuss the impact of loneliness, social isolation, and financial strain on mental health problems, with consideration to the influence of COVID-19 and the start of the holiday season. You can listen below or at this link:

Workplace Mental Health – Professor Dame Carol Black, Professor Neil Greenberg, Dr Jane Suter Real World Public Mental Health

Host Stu King, CEO of BeeZee Bodies, and guests discuss Public Mental Health in the workplace and supporting employers.Professor Dame Carol Black was Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge until 2019. She has advised the British Government on the relationship between work and health.Professor Neil Greenberg is Professor of Defence Mental Health at King’s College London. He has served in the Armed Forces and advises the Academic Department of Military Mental Health. He also runs March on Stress.Dr Jane Suter is Lecturer in HR Management at University of York Management School and Principal Investigator on the insight report Managing Mental Health in Small and Micro Businesses.Our guests outline the importance of public mental health in the workplace and influencing factors such as the role of managers and culture. The group explores the impact of Covid-19 and Jane talks about pressures on small and medium enterprises, accounting for the majority of UK employers. Neil shares his experience in long-term traumatic environments, what helps people cope and moral injury. The group talk about presenteeism, identifying the driving factors of mental ill-health and measuring impacts of interventions. The group recommend training in psychologically safe conversations, shown to be cost effective in a study with Australian firefighters. Neil recommends a condensed, on-line version REACT Mental Health®, validated peer support programmes such as StRaW or TRiM, and occupational health advice. When selecting interventions, Carol suggests looking at organisations in Britain’s Healthiest Workplace awards. The Midlands Engine mental health productivity pilot provides examples for small and medium enterprises, such as Prime Accountants.Contacts:@drjanesuter@DameCarolBlack@ProfNGreenberg@Stu_King_HhOther Resources:Thriving at Work: the Stevenson/Farmer review on mental health and employers, 2017Mental health at work resources for employers (including during Covid) Local government guidanceBITC/PHE health and wellbeing at work tool-kits
  1. Workplace Mental Health – Professor Dame Carol Black, Professor Neil Greenberg, Dr Jane Suter
  2. Social Isolation, Loneliness & Financial Strain – Dr Jen Dykxhoorn, Ed Davie & Caron Walker
  3. Dr Jonathan Campion – Director for Public Mental Health and Consultant Psychiatrist

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