North East Counselling Services (NECS), based in Gateshead, provides affordable counselling for individuals, couples and young people around our region. As the festive season brings extra stress, both at home and work, they are now offering their expert services to local businesses to help support stressed employees.
Christmas can be a difficult time for anyone suffering with mental health issues. With one in four people every year experiencing problems with their mental health, NECS Works is expecting a peak in demand for their counselling services. Their new strategy is set to help employers across the north east provide support for their employees at Christmas and throughout the new year.
If someone is experiencing mental health issues, work can become extremely difficult for them and their behaviour can negatively affect those they work with. Common issues, like stress, anxiety and depression, can make concentration almost impossible, destroy motivation and result in conflict with colleagues and misunderstandings with clients and customers. The mental health of a workforce is a serious issue for every company. As well as a negative impact on productivity, mental health issues result in 70 million lost working days every year and costs UK employers £30 billion.
NECS Works unique approach to dealing with mental health in the workplace is tailored to each individual’s needs, their team and the company they work for. A professionally trained counsellor is placed directly into the business providing on-hand support for any employees who wish to talk through their issues and formulate coping strategies and solutions. They have some unusual tools that are proving to be highly effective. One such tool used in businesses by NECS Works counsellors is the representative toy figure. These figures are used in a counselling session to represent the client and their colleagues. This method allows for a degree of depersonalisation with the people involved in any troublesome situation. This, counsellors have found, allows the client to look at their circumstances objectively and find solutions to inter-personal issues.
NECS Works Business Development Officer, Carol Walker, says, “Bosses often hear about their employees’ problems but often feel unable to provide much in the way of assistance. They’re not trained to help staff resolve or deal with these issues. With the support that a NECS Works counsellor provides, we can work with employers to help their employees deal with mental health problems as they arise – and these problems are becoming increasingly common in every workplace.
“Every organisation we work with is different and every individual within that organisation has their own set of needs. NECS Works provides a bespoke counselling service that is designed to offer the very best support for everyone involved. Work can be enormously stressful, even without major incidents. In the past, we’ve provided support to employees after the suicide of a colleague and dealt with the effects of a multitude of major crisis situations. We’ve also been able to offer solutions to employees who are ‘just feeling the extra pressure during the festive season.’
“We’re offering local businesses a lifeline. We work with individuals, groups and teams to get a workforce back to optimum efficiency and improve their resilience to further problems. We provide counselling, coaching, planning, mediation, crisis support and mental health policy creation and review services. Our trained and dedicated counsellors can be on-site at any business in our region to deal with problems as and when they occur.”
As a successful social enterprise, NECS Works are committed to offering cost-effective mental health support services in the workplace for anyone who needs them. Improving the mental health of the workforce can have a hugely positive impact throughout an organisation. Switched on employers know employees are the most valuable business asset. NECS Works is now helping these employers to look after their employees and secure a happy and productive 2018.