Charities should be willing to work with each other to protect the mental health of staff, an expert has said.
Speaking at the Institute of Fundraising’s annual convention in central London on Wednesday, Jaan Maden, a consultant who specialises in mentally healthy workplaces and a former head of the commercial directorate of Mental Health First Aid England, said charities needed to emulate the example of the private sector by sharing expertise with other organisations.
He said the conversation around mental health in the workplace had moved on a lot in recent years and there were two main drivers to this change: "The human aspect: organisations saying ‘we care, we want to be more engaged, we want to create environments, cultures where people can thrive’.
"And there’s the business drive and agenda, which is where they want to draw down the next generation of talent, to retain the talent it’s got and grow it, to create diverse and neurodiverse teams, and to create an organisation that’s commercially active."
Maden said the first port of call for charities looking to support their employees’ mental health should be to seek out any expertise that already exists within the organisation.
They should then reach out to other organisations in the sector that were starting to invest in this area.
"I’ve worked with organisations such as the big four - the EYs, the Deloittes, the KPMGs," he said.
"These organisations that are commercially incredibly aggressive and secretive against each other are happy to get round the table on this agenda to share best practice, what’s worked and data, even around sickness absence.
"There is a lot of knowledge out there."