So we, Jo and Beverly, set up The LaunchPad Academy CIC just over a year ago. The LaunchPad Academy CIC one year on, where are we!
We’ve successfully launched a number of initiatives, our Incite Programme, together with a number of workshops aimed at adults and young people in education, our mental health checklist for employers, and the Howay Homeworkers competition (more of that later!).
A couple of case studies for you:
(All names are changed to protect the client)
Andrew aged 18 years
Andrew came to us after failing his AS levels. He’d made plans to go to visit universities and was set on becoming a primary school teacher. After disappointing AS results and being told he couldn’t continue at sixth form he felt as though his world had come crashing down. He’d lost direction and didn’t know where to turn for help.
We had three two hour sessions with him and now he’s successfully part way through a BTeC in Media Studies.
- worked on his CV.
- helped him to identify his strengths and weaknesses.
- looked at routes into teaching which are less exam based, mapping out a clear plan to help him to realise his ambitions.
Trevor in a job that was getting to him
We started working with Trevor when he realised that his inability to reach his true potential in his current role was going to make him ill due to feeling unfilled and stagnating. He was looking for a complete career change.
Exploring his strengths and weaknesses with him, his motivation and passion, we got him ready to move on. We worked with him building his confidence and self esteem, together with supporting the development of a new CV and covering letter. We worked with him on assessment centre and interview skills to improve his technique and to build confidence and resilience in himself.
We are proud to be able to say that within 3 months of working with him, Trevor has his dream job within the company he targeted.
We’ve chosen these two particular case studies as they stand out to us for one reason only – mental health and wellbeing!
Both clients were at risk of becoming ill. Andrew had been through the CAMHS system and experienced anxiety throughout childhood. Trevor no longer fitted in his organisation and job. He was feeling unfulfilled, stressed and heading toward a depressed state when he came to us.
In November and December we had our business review days and decided to niche down further in our business. We will continue to focus on helping people into employment, identifying routes to retraining or to set up their own business, but we’ll be focusing on mental health and well-being.
The focus of our business is to support people who are either at risk of stress or depression, dealing with anxiety or looking to return to work following mental ill-health.
The work we’ve done over the past year has shown us that GPs struggle to identify and signpost correctly people who are displaying the physical signs of stress or depression, together with poor understanding of workplace intervention.
Beverly’s research has highlighted employees struggling in the workplace with stress, anxiety or depression tend to display one or more of the following:
- They become ill, frequent absences, culminating in longer term absences.
- They become disruptive, negative or dysfunctional.
- Performance issues begin to emerge.
We’re finding, whilst the subject of mental health is becoming more accepted in the workplace, there is still a greater focus on health and wellness rather than the culture and behavioural aspects of mental health. We’re still not at the stage where people feel comfortable discussing their mental health or are able to admit when they are struggling.
Looking back at the three indicators above, we’re finding managers still resort to procedure to deal with these issues. They are still relying on Attendance Management, Capability and Discipline policies to address issues rather than operating early intervention and support. The management and HR time spent on managing these procedures, together with legal advice, managers stress and ultimate acrimonious parting of the ways either via a settlement agreement or at Employment Tribunal. We know the costs are enormous, and even worse, the stress on those involved can often destroy careers.
We are therefore working with organisations to:
- Conduct wellbeing and engagement audits;
- Develop a culture of wellbeing;
- Develop managers and leaders to effectively manage wellness, building trust to facilitate honest communication; and
- Support employees through early intervention through coaching and 1:1 support.
So our focus is mental health.