Workplace Wellbeing Framework, a case study.

Be Wellbeing ltd.’s values and ethos is to create a mentally healthy workplace while cultivating a supportive environment for staff to thrive, feel motivated and productive at work. We value employee contributions to Be Wellbeing ltd so work to empower staff to meet the organisation’s strategic priorities. Our team members are essential to ensuring our clients receive the excellent service which we are reputable for. Be Wellbeing is a corporate role model who live and breathe the product and framework which we sell to businesses around the North East.

We provide, consultancy, training and interventions to businesses and organisations interested in providing workplace wellbeing and culture change as a structured, evidenced framework to reduce stigma, provide knowledge, skills and support to their staff and lower rates of sickness absence and presenteeism due to Mental Health Problems.

When culture changing work is implemented in to a business it is not unusual to see an increase in staff reaching out for support. Some businesses and organisations don’t have an Employee Assistance Programme in place, so, to ensure staff are provided with timely support and therapies we have a Workplace Wellbeing Referral pathway to our Counselling service at Be. The Centre for Wellbeing.

This service package includes:

• An Ethical Needs Assessment (ENA) with our Wellbeing Practitioner either face to face or via Telephone call. This triage assessment will provide an analysis to ensure that the employee is referred to the appropriate therapy and therapist/counsellor.
• Six, 50 minute sessions of psychotherapy/counselling sessions at Be, The centre for Wellbeing, Mea House, Newcastle Upon Tyne with a BACP registered therapist/counsellor. Sessions will be expected to run once a week unless otherwise stated by your therapist after assessment.
• The offer of a free exit support meeting with our Workplace Wellbeing Practitioner, who will provide support to complete a Wellness Action Plan to provide the clients workplace with ideas for supportive measures and reasonable adjustments. Or support to complete a WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan). The client will also be offered further signposting for support.

Be also provides private paid for counselling and therapies.

We are ready to start to publish case studies of businesses which we have been working with for over 12 month to really show the impact that our Workplace Wellbeing Framework has.

Today I present Northumberland National Park as a Case Study, written by Mary Wallace, HR Manager.

Northumberland National Parks

What motivated you to engage in the Workplace Wellbeing Framework as a Company?
We did not have a particular problem to address in terms of sickness/staff engagement etc, however we had always been motivated to ensure our staff had the best possible working environment and were interested in mental health as an area for improvement. Further to this, our Finance Manager, Gordon Allan lost his wife to suicide and that gave us the passion, drive and momentum to really tackle mental health awareness in the workplace

Where there any pain points you had identified regarding mental health that you felt needed solutions to?
Stress is an ongoing issue plus I wanted to reduce stigma in terms of anxiety/depression as I felt people were keeping them secret and masking with other symptoms for fear of speaking out.

How many staff engaged in the Workplace Wellbeing Framework?
All staff were trained with the Sally Allan training (81). All Managers (14) received a one day Mental Health for Managers course. Our Authority members attended a one day Mental Health training course. Half our staff attended an emotional resilience course. 7 employees including the Chief Exec received a full day of Wellbeing Advocates training.

After one year of implementing the framework have you seen a change in:

Sickness Absence?
No, we had a very low sickness absence level anyway

Sickness Absence reporting mental health problems or stress?
Yes, 6 people reported with mental health problems (though none were absent) and all were immediately referred to counselling (which the Authority pays for and they attend in work time)

Have seen a change in people asking for help and support?
Yes, people much more open. Open discussions with colleagues about needing help with workload or sharing symptoms/feelings. People asking to see a counsellor.

Have you recognised a reduction in stigma and how have you noticed this?
Absolutely, following the Sally Allan presentations, all staff were engaged in a discussion about reducing stigma and asked for their ideas. We have signed the time to change pledge (they informed us that our action plan was their best ever). We are now going to be an exemplar on their website. Their logo is going on all our recruitment information and the pledge board will be proudly displayed in our hall way at HQ. The Wellbeing advocates are working on a newsletter, which will go out with a real story from an employee who is happy to share, which will be followed by signs and symptoms and signposting to the relevant services

What other changes that are relevant to the WWF have you identified?
Massive impact on the whole organisation. It lead to a consultation on our culture and values as an organisation, lead by the Chief Exec. We consulted with all staff and have now adopted ‘a supportive organisation’ as part of our culture, which includes recognising and helping people with mental health problems but also being proactive about trying to prevent mental health problems by raising awareness of stress and symptoms to look out for in others. 94% of staff reported that they felt more aware of their own or others’ mental health since the training by Mind. Recruitment now includes information that we are a ‘time to change’ employer and that a compulsory part of induction for all is mental health training and that Managers are fully trained to support anyone with a mental health problem. We have also created a Health at Work strategy, which incorporates all the ideas provided by staff to boost mental and physical health and now provide walking meetings, volunteering opportunities, wellbeing advocates etc.

Are there any recommendations or comments you have about the framework?
So so easy to use. Would recommend 100%. From the first meeting with Emily, she looked down my list at what I wanted to achieve and said, yes, I can do all that for you. She tailored every training course and was so knowledgeable. One person who attended the training said she didn’t go to the toilet because she didn’t want to miss a single word of what Emily said. As a framework, absolutely ideal because it’s a package of training you can access to make sure all bases are covered and it provides a comprehensive awareness and training for all concerned.

How was your experience working with Be and the WWF?
Couldn’t have been any better. So professional and accommodating and knowledgeable and provided such support through the process, which is crucial in this sensitive area.

Will you continue to work with Be to keep the WWF working and developing further for NNP and how do you see this working?
Yes, definitely. I see this working through our Wellbeing advocates who have been trained by Be and through accessing counselling through Be and future training.

Would you recommend the WWF to other businesses and organisations?
Absolutely 100%. Comprehensive, sensitive, tailored, crucial training for all and so easy to access and very professionally delivered.

Survey Monkey results by Northumberland National Parks
I am more knowledgeable about mental health 88.9%
I feel more supported in the workplace in general 72.2%
I feel more supported re mental wellbeing 88.9%
I feel more empowered and resilient following the training 70.4%
I feel more aware of my own and/or other people’s mental wellbeing since the training 94.4%

If you wold like to see an impact and culture change in your business then contact me, Emily Pearson, Head of Workplace Wellbeing for your free consultation

01916913500 or email

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