independent news and information website for the towns and villages which lie alongside the River Dee in north Wales, from Connah's Quay to the border with Chester.

Health Board stepping up efforts to improve mental wellbeing of its 16,500 staff in the workplace

North Wales’ biggest employer is marking World Mental Health Day today by stepping up efforts to improve the mental wellbeing of its staff.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board hope to establish ‘mental wellbeing champions’ throughout its hospitals and health centres, as part of a range of initiatives to improve the wellbeing of its 16,500+ staff.

Earlier this year, the Health Board lent its support to the national ‘Time to Change Wales’ campaign to improve awareness, reduce stigma and support staff who are experiencing mental health problems

It now plans to further develop the range of support it can offer its staff by establishing a network of ‘mental wellbeing champions’ who will help to challenge the stigma associated with mental health in the workplace and encourage open discussion about the topic with colleagues.

The Health Board’s Occupational Health Team will also be running wellbeing workshops for staff to promote how the ‘5 Ways To Wellbeing’ can help staff to stay mentally well, and support staff to manage stress and anxiety.

Meanwhile, the Clinical Psychology Service at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd’s Ablett Psychiatric Unit have begun delivering a 6 month wellbeing programme.

It is hoped that the weekly wellbeing sessions will equip staff and patients with the skills to look after their wellbeing by utilising mindfulness and compassion focused acceptance and commitment therapy principles.

Gary Doherty, Chief Executive of BCUHB, said:

“We recently put a commitment to promoting mental wellbeing for everyone at the heart of exciting plans to improve and develop our mental health services.

“This has to begin with our hardworking staff – who are our greatest asset – because they cannot provide the very best care and support to the people we serve if they don’t enjoy good health and wellbeing themselves.

“On World Mental Health Day, and every other day, we’re determined to support our staff to look after their mental wellbeing and help to reduce the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health in Wales.”