January 2021


WCC programme offers specialist mental health support for small businesses

The pandemic, and another lockdown, has brought unprecedented pressures for small businesses and for employers and employees alike. At such a time, the protection of mental health has never been more important.

Amid such pressure it can be difficult to accept the need for mental health support, or to identify where that support might be found. But for small businesses, local expert advice is easily accessible though Warwickshire County Council's Employee Assistance Programme, as Employment & Skills Project Officer Alice Edwards explains.


The spotlight has been placed more than ever on mental health and wellbeing since the first national lockdown last March.

There are so many resources of support out there for businesses and their employees, that sometimes it can be overwhelming and very difficult to find exactly what you need. But for small businesses in Warwickshire, there is a simple and very effective option close to hand in the form of Warwickshire County Council's Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).

For quick and easy support, the County Council has extended its EAP offer to the employees and owners of all micro and small businesses, employing 50 or less, and any business employing up to 100 in the hospitality sector, who operate in Warwickshire and may need some support to stay well and working. The service had previously been open only to businesses in town centres employing 10 or less.

The service offered by EAP provider, Vita Health Group, is completely confidential - even if your business has just two employees, total confidentiality will be maintained. They offer a range of services which covers both personal home life issues as well as problems at work.

Whatever your issue or concern, the EAP will be able to offer some support, whether it be debt advice, probate queries, or issues with landlords, to just having someone to chat and offload to after a difficult day. The programme will offer structured mental health support if it is needed.

It is very important to be proactive when it comes to your mental health and wellbeing. Prevention is often quicker and easier than finding a cure and needing time to recover if you become unwell. This is a difficult time for everyone but taking care of your wellbeing and reaching out for support may make it a little bit easier.

How it works: Eligible businesses can register their interest in this free service with no obligation to actually use the programme, via the link here.

The business will receive an confirmation and information email. Employees can then make staff aware of the support by email for those working at home, or posters in the workplace, which detail how to access the website and the 24/7, 365 days a year helpline. The service can be accessed directly and confidentially without further manager involvement.

This initiative is just one of a package of measures to support local businesses recover from the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The County Council has developed an economic recovery plan and allocated a budget of £8 million to support the immediate recovery of the local economy. This plan is supporting a number of new, or extended, activities to support businesses.

To find out more about the County Council’s business support schemes please visit: Warwickshire County Council Business Support


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