- Department: The York Management School
- Module co-ordinator: Dr. Jane Suter
- Credit value: 20 credits
- Credit level: H
- Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
|A||Semester 2 2023-24|
In the past decade, mental health in the workplace has become firmly established on international and national government agendas. Common mental health problems, including stress, anxiety and depression, are now among the leading causes of workplace absence with annual economic costs in the UK approaching £35bn. This module will explore how supporting workplace mental health and wellbeing is a societal issue with healthier workplaces helping businesses, the economy, individuals and communities. Healthy workplaces can have an indirect impact on social mobility and social exclusion, can lead to higher rates of employment through higher quality and skilled jobs, reducing the burden on public services. The module will have a dual focus both on positive mental wellbeing among the whole workforce and better supporting individual employees who experience mental health problems. Students will consider strategies for policy makers and organisations that attend to prevention, promotion and management of mental health and wellbeing. Students will explore how positive wellbeing at work is shaped through jobs with purpose, challenge, decent income, autonomy and social connections. These principles become more important in an economy increasingly shaped by precarious employment, including platforms for ‘gig work’ and zero-hours contracts. Students will learn to apply knowledge in real-world settings through guest workshops and lectures from leading industry voices.
Identify a range of disciplinary perspectives on workplace mental health and wellbeing.
Examine the political, social and public health dimensions behind modern business approaches to employee wellbeing and responsible business practice
Evaluate psychosocial factors that can lead to mental ill health and how these can be positively or negatively affected by the workplace.
Understand the changing nature of work and workforce demographics and the effect on mental wellbeing
Reflect on the tensions faced by managers in managing mental ill-health and critically evaluate the ‘what works’ literature
Indicative subject content:
1.Theoretical frameworks drawn from occupational health psychology, The sociology of health and illness, social policy and public health, and psychosocial models of wellbeing.
2.. Health and safety, employment legislation, job design and job quality
3.. Line managers, leadership and management styles and the impact on wellbeing
4.. Designing and evaluating interventions, including critical perspectives on resilience training and mindfulness
5.. Wellbeing and the changing nature of work including remote working, work-life balance, workers in different sectors including health and social care, older workers, low paid sectors and the gig economy.
6. Presenteeism, sickness absence and leavism
7. Managing mental health in small and micro businesses
8. Toxic workplaces, bullying and harassment
9. Workplaces, communities and volunteerism
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Feedback will be given in accordance with the University Policy on feedback in the Guide to Assessment as well as in line with the School policy.
Bevan, S. and Cooper, C. (2021). The Healthy Workforce: Enhancing Wellbeing and Productivity in the Workers of the Future (The Future of Work), Emerald Publishing: Bradford, UK.
Hesketh, I. and Cooper, C. (2019). Wellbeing at Work: How to Design, Implement and Evaluate an Effective Strategy, Kogan Page: London.