Raploch Urban Regeneration Project

The Raploch Urban Regeneration Company (RURC) is a charity with 14 members of staff, set up to tackle local disadvantage and help regenerate the Raploch area of Stirling. After coming into contact with Healthy Working Lives, it has implemented a hugely successful mental health policy.

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How it started

The company engaged with the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives when it completed a Bronze Award in 2009. Involving training for all staff, the programme included a session on mental health and wellbeing for managers, which convinced them that the organisation needed a specific policy on mental health.

Marjorie Sloan, Head of Corporate Affairs at RURC, says 'We want to show we are a company that values its employees, and provide an example of good practice for others to follow.'

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Partners

The project was run in partnership with:

  • Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives

Process

Marjorie attended a Healthy Working Lives one-day training event and, following this, wrote a mental health policy for RURC. She adds, 'The plan is to send other managers on similar courses so this core knowledge doesn’t rest with just one person.'

Objectives of the mental health policy:

  • a non-judgemental approach among all employees
  • a supportive, professional and caring environment
  • providing techniques to cope with pressure
  • employee support during sickness and other causes of absence, return to work interviews and rehabilitation in work including reasonable adjustments
  • evaluation of all procedures to ensure they are flexible enough to meet individual and organisational needs.

The company runs regular practical sessions and team building workshops focused on mental health topics. It also offers flexible working hours to help employees achieve the right work-life balance to support good mental health and wellbeing.

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Evaluation

In April 2010, RURC completed an online questionnaire for the European Network for Workplace Health Promotion, achieving the highest best practice benchmarking score of all participating Scottish employers. As a result, the organisation was selected to represent the UK at the Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing in Workplaces conference in Berlin in March 2011.

RURC has carried out a confidential ‘Stress Survey’ with employees, which showed the biggest concerns of staff involved relationships and friction between colleagues. Poor communication and lack of respect came up too.

RURC discussed results at a full company meeting, with responses to the findings after the meeting suggesting this was a good approach. "They were quite reflective, along the lines of ‘yes, this is a problem for me but maybe I can do something about it’," says Marjorie.

Lessons learned

'The challenge for managers is deciding what to do if they suspect someone has mental health problems but, understandably, they don’t know how to approach the subject,' says Marjorie.

To address this, RURC runs regular awareness campaigns to provide easy access to advice without anyone feeling ‘singled out’. For example, the organisation ran a campaign linked to National Stress Awareness Day, sending out leaflets to all staff and directing them to the campaign website.

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What’s next for the project?

RURC is now working towards a Healthy Working Lives Silver Award and achieved a Mental Health and Wellbeing Commendation Award in January.

Related documents and links

Contact

Marjorie Sloan
Head of Corporate Affairs
Raploch Resource Centre
Glendevon Drive
Raploch
Stirling
Phone: 01786 477540
Email: raplochurchlts@raploch.com

 

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