Over the weekend, I stumbled across a recording of the Scottish Parliament discussing a proposed person-centred drugs policy where criminalisation and stigmatisation is removed. 

With the highest numbers of death by drug overdoses in Europe – one person dying every eight hours according to one of the MPs – the calm debate from all parties was how best to implement safe consumption sites now rather than just keep talking about it. 

These sites are seen as a step in the journey for those affected to access the support individuals need to address their issues enabling them to change their lives not continuing to be judged and ignored.  

Heartfelt speeches were made about the ripple effect on family, friends, work colleagues, mental health services, emergency services, front line addiction intervention services.  The number of babies born addicted to drugs is clearly shocking.

The encouragement was the introduction of Naxolone – reverses opioid overdose – and the need to focus on demolishing stigma and stigmatising language.  

Change is a fundamental and unavoidable fact of life which won’t always be comfortable.  The danger here is will the Scottish Parliament keep talking and never act because they are trying to find a solution that fits every region of the country?

Why put this post on a business connection site?  

Businesses nationally need to ensure their workplaces have a core of inclusion, understanding and empathy for their staff to feel safe talking about issues that affect them – not just mental ill health, but all pressures, without fear of judgement or losing their jobs.  

How do businesses do this? Where to start?

Some key considerations:

·      Proactive training for all staff in managing and promoting positive mental health and wellbeing using i-act’s accredited programmes for managers and non-managers not a generic ‘first aider’ programme which has no accreditation.

·      Emotional Intelligence assessments to identify and develop any gaps in all staff to ensure negative behaviours are not impacting negatively on colleagues.

·      Drip feed communication in the workplace on mental health and wellbeing issues via posters, team talks, discussions, collaborative events and so on.  Not once a year ‘tick in the box’ events to coincide with international awareness days.

The crucial need for businesses to ensure their workplaces are robust in the area of mental health and wellbeing is noted in ISO45003, reports by World Economic Forum and leading CEOs who believe their title stands for Chief Empathy Officer and many others.  The evidence is clear to see.

Changing the lives of staff by addressing these issues will change the face of the business in terms of reputation, retention and revenue.        

Is your business going to:

·      wait for the ‘perfect one size fits all’

·      keep doing what has always done in your business whether it works or not

·      look at bespoke products that will really make a difference to your people and business?

We’re moving into a post Covid era where ensuring resilience, empowerment and emotional intelligence of our workplaces and people is critical to our business survival. Don’t let it be ‘game over’ for your business.

What say you?

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