Health & Wellbeing working group

The Employment and Skills Health and Wellbeing group meets regularly, and any issues or ideas can be raised with your reps:

Helen Samuel

Julie Dorey

Gillian Halpin

Jonathan Whetzel

Stephen Heslop

Joanne Walker

James Young

Joanna Blizycka

Jo Knight

Promoting Positive Mental Health

We have been doing lots of work to support and promote positive mental health both within our team and with our learners, service users and residents. Please see below copy of the presentation from Joanne Walker & Gillian Halpin’s recent CPD session which so many of you attended. There are heaps of useful links, resources, strategies and tools in here both for yourselves and/or to use with others.

Wellbeing & Mental Health Support and Resources

We welcome your feedback on the presentation using the following survey:


The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is part of a range of employee benefits and is a free service available to all colleagues across the council.

It’s available 24/7 and provides confidential and professional support to colleagues with any personal or social problems, at home or in the workplace. The council’s EAP is called ‘Help: Employee Assistance’ and is provided by an independent external organisation, Optimise.

Trained counsellors can offer support and information on:

  • Bereavement
  • Bullying and Harassment
  • Career / job stress
  • Childcare / eldercare
  • Alcohol and drug misuse
  • Debt
  • Legal issues
  • Relationships
  • Retirement
  • Gender identity issues
  • Trauma
  • Work-life balance

Remember, it’s completely confidential support, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The helpline number is 0800 231 5052, or visit

Menopause support

To help women understand what may be happening to their body & mind during menopause we’ve created a #KnowYourMenopause Support Pack containing:

  • Symptom Sorter: to help you #KnowYourMenopause.
  • Ask the Doctor: empowering questions to get the most out of your doctors appointment.
  • Pausitivity Poll Statistics: to understand WHY you should #KnowYourMenopause as soon as possible, take action.
  • Self-Care Tips: encouraging you regain control & be kind to yourself.
  • Resources: listing a wealth of sites to help you on your way. There’s something for everyone here.
  • Menopause in the Workplace: How to get the support you need in the workplace
  • #KnowYourMenopause Poster (English) to pin up and share with others to see. Share the love.

It’s FREE to download, simply click on the link below.

Support pack

Further information and resources can be found at 

Headache Support

The impact of migraine on work

Migraine is most common among adults of working age. It can impact working life but this can be significantly reduced if people with migraine are supported at work.

People with migraine often need very little help from their employer, but this small amount of support can be decisive in enabling them to work effectively with migraine.

Not receiving support from their employer can have very serious consequences for people with migraine.

What you can do to help you work with migraine

For the vast majority of people with migraine their condition should not be a barrier to finding and retaining employment. However, from time to time it may have an unavoidable impact at work and here we outline some general considerations for people with migraine that are employed.

Whether you are starting a new job or have been in your role for a while, taking the following steps may help to manage the impact of your migraine in the workplace.

Tell your employer

Some people with migraine experience attacks once or twice a year, whereas for others they may occur much more regularly. The frequency and severity of attacks, as well as the symptoms experienced, can vary at different times and amongst people with migraine. Telling your employer can seem like a daunting thing to do, especially since there is so much misunderstanding and stigma surrounding the condition.

Employers are less able to provide support and understand the condition if they do not know that you experience migraine attacks. Formally telling them about your condition means that it will be on your personnel file should there be any changes to management in the future. Your doctor may also be able to write to your employer to confirm your diagnosis and any important considerations based on your personal circumstances.

Take steps to tackle work-related stress

The pressures of an increasingly demanding work culture can result in significant work-related stress for many employees. Depending on the nature of your work this may be consistent or vary across months, years or even throughout your working life. Stress can have a detrimental effect on sleep, eating habits and general wellbeing which can all be potential trigger factors for migraine attacks. Clear demands, clarity of role and objectives, regular supervision and support through change should all be adopted into management systems to effectively deal with stress in the workplace.

Many employers have additional offerings in place to promote staff wellbeing. These can range from flexible working policies, employee assistant programs, gym memberships and mentoring programs. Familiarise yourself with your company’s policies on managing stress at work and what you are entitled to in your workplace. If you feel that you have specific needs as a person with migraine then you can discuss this with your employer.

The Health and Safety Executive has a body of excellent information and resources on work-related stress, including the Management Standards for work-related stress which helps employers to support their workforce. Visit their website for more information.

Further information and resources can be found at

Mindful March