Safeguarding is not a term that many Employers are familiar with and that is purely because their business stakeholders do not obviously or explicitly include people who are seen or accepted as adults at risk, in the same way an NHS Hospital, the Care Industry or even the Education sector might.
Safeguarding is defined by the Care Quality Commision as: ‘Protecting people’s health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect. It’s fundamental to high-quality health and social care.”
However safeguarding employees is a key part of supporting employees with their mental health and that is because suicide and/or self-harming leading to injury or death are both common risk factors amongst people struggling with poor mental health.
Within the mental health context safeguarding can be considered as meaning:
- To ensure that employees struggling with poor mental health are supported appropriately, especially when they might be at risk of harming themselves or their lives through suicide for example.
- To ensure that employees know where they can get appropriate support to address any mental health needs.
- To ensure that both employer and employees are equipped to recognise signs when someone maybe struggling with poor mental and ensure they are responded to and supported appropriately.
Safeguarding Staff Around Mental Health: A Toolkit
Time to Change have produced this guidance to support organisations to consider their own approach to safeguarding. This guide should enable organisations to:
Have an understanding of Safeguarding and the key legislation around it.
- To implement a Safeguarding Policy if they don’t have one/or adapt an existing policy to include safeguarding employees.
- To embed an appropriate reporting arrangement so that Champions know who and how to get support and guidance should they need to raise a concern.
- Have an understanding of the following Legislations: the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Care Act 2014.
- Have an understanding of policies and procedures around safeguarding.
- Have an understanding of how to develop safeguarding roles and responsibilities internally.
Download the Toolkit
The Safeguarding Staff Around Mental Health: A Toolkit for Employers has been produced by Time to Change to help support employers understand appropriate support and reporting structures to safeguard employees around mental health issues.
Download the Safeguarding Policy Template
Our Safeguarding Policy Template is designed to help all employers to implement a safeguarding policy in their own workplace where they have no such existing policy.