Guernsey Mind: Employment and Mental Health Resource Factsheet

September 20th, 2011 by Guernsey Mind

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Guernsey based resources for employment and mental health

This article lists local sources of information or services that may be able to help if you are an employer, working or looking to return to work after a period of mental ill health. These are not comprehensive and we hope to add to this list during our two year project on employment and mental health in Guernsey.

Local services available to support employers/ employees

Primary Care Mental Health and Wellbeing Service

Based in GP or community settings this free Health and Social Service run programme offers advice and support for self-help as well as individual therapy sessions. Sessions are based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques and are adapted for the individual. This service is available for those with mild to moderate cases of anxiety and depression and employees can be referred through their GP.

Private counselling services

A list of private counsellors, psychologists and psychotherapists can be found in the Guernsey yellow pages under ‘Counsellors’. Many of these will offer work and organisational psychology as well as individual treatments.

Free/ by donation counselling services. See below.


Alternative Therapies

Many alternative therapies can be good for your mental health. A list can be found in the Guernsey yellow pages under ‘Complementary Medicine’ and include aromatherapy, hypnotherapy, reflexology, massage, nutrition, Yoga, Reiki and Tai Chi.

Employment Relations Support Service

This service provides free, confidential, independent and practical advice on employment related issues to employees, employers, managers or trade union representatives. Guidance is available on Guernsey employment legislation, employment rights and responsibilities and the service promotes best practice in all aspects of employment relations. Contact the Employment Relations Service Team by telephone: 234567 or e-mail: employmentrelations @ You can also download information from their website

Occupational Health Services

Provides expert advice to help local business manage employees with health problems that are affecting them at work and assist with reducing employee ill health caused by work. They can undertake pre-employment health assessments to ensure new employees are fit for post, help with an early return to work for an employee who has been ill and give advice on cost-effective work adjustments to keep someone at work. Contact the Occupational Health Department by telephone: 707411 or confidential fax: 700105

Guernsey Health and Safety Executive

The HSE has Management Standards and tools to help employers and employees work together to prevent excessive work-related stress. An employer is required to assess the stress-related ill health arising from work activities and to take action to control that risk. Employers and employees should contact The Guernsey HSE Team by telephone: 234567 or e-mail: hse @ Look at the HSE website for more information on the HSE approach to stress.

Citizens Advice Bureau

Free, independent and impartial advice on relationship, employment, housing, debt or consumer problems. The Bureau is open for advice each weekday for telephone enquiries and visitors, no appointments are needed. There is also a debt counselling service available by appointment only. Contact the team by telephone: 242266 or visit their website.

Health Information Exchange

Free, confidential, independent information on all disability and health matters. Contact by telephone: 707470 or e-mail: info @

Guernsey Mind

Offers free, confidential and independent advice on local mental health services, mental health awareness and employment and mental health. Contact by telephone: 722959 or e-mail: emily.litten @

GSF Mental Health Fellowship

Provides help and support to people in mental health distress, together with their carers and families. Contact by telephone: 723308/728018 or e-mail: gsfmentalhealth @

Local services available to support people seeking to return to work.*

Interwork Services (you must be referred to this service by the Mental Health Services).

The Supported Employment Service supports people with a disability to gain and maintain paid work in the community. The role of the Service is to provide support to the applicant and match their skills and aspirations to a paid job in the open labour market. The Service then provides support and guidance for the applicant and the employer to ensure that the placement continues successfully.

Work Rehabilitation Team (you must be referred to this service by the Mental Health Services or Invalidity Benefits Team).

The Work Rehabilitation Team provides one-to-one assistance for people who have significant barriers to employment, including disabilities. They provide help, support and guidance to those who have been out of employment for some time, whether through illness, redundancy or personal circumstances. Some people with multiple barriers to employment are referred to occupational psychologists for additional support.

*Employers please contact these organisations if your workplace wishes to participate in the schemes.

Local free/by donation specialised counselling services

Alcoholics Anonymous

A fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. Contact by telephone: 713480. For information on local meetings see their website

Drug Concern

For those affected by drug abuse in Guernsey. Services include information, education, support and counselling. Contact by telephone: 729000 or e-mail: info @

Guernsey Bereavement Service

A free confidential, voluntary counselling service. Contact by telephone: 251056 (24 hour helpline) or e-mail: gsybereavement @  For more information visit the website.

Guernsey Women’s Aid

Provides a counselling service for survivors of domestic abuse. Contact by telephone: 07781133321.

Guernsey Women’s Refuge

Emergency accommodation and support services for victims of domestic abuse, including a 24 hour telephone helpline. Contact by telephone: 721999. For more information see their website

Home-start Guernsey

Free, confidential and non-judgemental support for families through home visits. Contact by telephone: 720382. For more information see their website

Philippi Counselling

Provides a free Christian based counselling. Contact by telephone: 230745.


A confidential counselling service for individuals or couples. Payment is negotiable and no clients are turned away. Contact by telephone: 730303 or through their website

Samaritans of Guernsey

They offer confidential, emotional support by telephone 24/7 to those experiencing despair, distress or suicidal feelings. Contact by telephone: 08457 909090. For more information see their website

The Guernsey Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council (GADAC)

A voluntary service to help clients overcome their alcohol and drug problems. They offer one-on-one counselling sessions free of charge. Contact them by telephone: 723255 or e-mail: For more information see their website

Victim Support

Independent charity for victims and witnesses. Offers free counselling and support. Contact by telephone: 713000 or e-mail: victimsupportgsy @

Online self-help resources

Local cognitive behaviour therapy self-help resources. Also provides comprehensive up-to-date information on local self-help groups.

Beating the blues – Computerised CBT programme for depression and anxiety

The MoodGYM training programme – free CBT online

Living Life to the Full – personal empowerment, anxiety, depression and life skills online

Changes 12 steps to mental health – online recovery service for those in mental health distress

On-line mental health forum

OCDaction – forum discussion group for people with obsessive compulsive disorder

Additional web resources on employment and mental health

Guernsey Mind for local information

The Shaw Trust provides a service to help people stay in work.

Rethink. Factsheet on getting back to work after a mental illness

The Scottish Association for Mental Health

A leaflet on how to make reasonable adjustments for your mental health in the workplace.

Mind Workplace provides consultancy and training for employers on mental health, enhancing productivity by improving business practices.

Business in the Community. The Workplace Well-being Tool is a free online resource designed to help you understand the specific issues within your organisation – from estimating the business cost of poor health to comparing your measures to those in place in similar organisations

Equality and Human Rights Commission. Guidance for developing a workplace mental health policy

Recommendations on disclosure and support for employees

1. Review policy

Check your existing recruitment policy to ensure equal opportunities includes people with mental health issues. Adopt an employee wellbeing policy. An example of a basic mental health policy can be obtained from Guernsey Mind.

2. Avoid making assumptions

It can be difficult for people to disclose information relating to their mental health. Make it easier for them by ignoring the many stereotypes that exist around the subject. Avoid trying to guess what symptoms an employee might have and how these might affect their ability to do their job – many people are able to manage their condition and perform their role to a high standard.

3. Embed confidentiality

People can be understandably anxious about discussing their mental health, so be prepared to assume responsibility for some confidential and sensitive information. Create strict policies about who is made aware of disclosures. As a rule, they should involve as few people as possible. This should ensure that anyone who discloses private information to their manager will not be concerned about it being leaked to their colleagues.

4. Encourage people to talk

It is important to have an open dialogue with employees when discussing their mental health. Everyone’s experience of mental distress is different and how you deal with a disclosure should be entirely dependent on the individual employee. It is vital that you focus on the person, not the problem. Ask honest and open questions about how the condition manifests itself, what the implications are, and, most importantly, what support someone will need.

5. Respond flexibly

Mental distress affects people in different ways and at different times in their lives, so be prepared to adapt your support to suit the individual. Work with your employee to develop an individual Wellness Recovery Action Plan (available from Guernsey Mind). This is an agreed system that will identify likely signs of distress, who you will need to contact in case of mental distress, and what support your employee would like or need. Reasonable adjustments to an employee’s condition need not be costly or require huge changes. It might be as simple as allowing more flexible working hours, providing a designated ‘quiet room’, or setting up a buddy/mentoring system.

6. Seek advice if you need to

Handling mental health disclosures need not be awkward or taxing; remember that the aim is to create an honest and open dialogue that will lead to a system of support and understanding between employers and employees. An employee who is worried about his mental health should be advised to contact his GP in the first instance to gain access to help and support. If you are seriously worried about an employee but they do not want to/do not think there is a reason to contact their GP please seek local advice from the sources in the remainder of this booklet. You can also share your concerns with their GP who are able to contact the person to assess if help is needed.

Guernsey Mind is thankful to our supporters:

  • Lloyds TSB Foundation for the Channel Islands
  • The Lions Club of Guernsey
  • Active Group Limited

Please contact Guernsey Mind if in doubt and we can signpost you. If you know of any additional sources of support please let us know.  Thank you.

Guernsey Mind, Lions Mind Centre, Town Arsenal, St Peter Port, Guernsey, GY1 1UW

telephone: 01481 722959

Email: emily.litten @


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