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The Importance of Mental Health Sick Days

11 May 2023

Mental health has long been stigmatised in our society, and unfortunately, this stigma often prevents people from seeking the help they need. While physical health issues are generally accepted as legitimate reasons for taking a sick day, the same is not always true for mental health. This can lead people to push themselves too hard, leading to burnout, decreased productivity, and in severe cases, even mental breakdowns.

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of removing the stigma of mental health and the importance of recognising that sick days are not just for physical sickness. It's perfectly okay to use sick days if your mental health is suffering that day.

Mental health affects all aspects of our lives, including our work. When our mental health is suffering, it can be challenging to focus on work, and our productivity may suffer as a result. Taking a sick day when we need it can help us recover and come back to work refreshed and ready to perform at our best. However, many people still feel ashamed or embarrassed to admit that they need a mental health day, and this stigma needs to be addressed.

Misconceptions
One of the reasons why mental health is stigmatised is the misconceptions around mental illness. Many people believe that mental health issues are a sign of weakness, or that they are not real illnesses. This couldn't be further from the truth. Mental health issues are just as real as physical health issues, and they require treatment and care just like any other illness. By acknowledging that mental health issues are legitimate reasons for taking a sick day, we can help reduce the stigma around mental health and encourage people to take care of themselves.

Mental Health Stigma
Another reason why mental health is stigmatised is the fear of discrimination. People worry that taking a mental health day will negatively impact their career, and that they will be seen as less competent or reliable. This fear is not unfounded, as many workplaces still have a long way to go in terms of supporting their employees' mental health. However, by speaking openly about the importance of mental health, we can begin to shift the conversation and create a more supportive and understanding workplace culture.

Employer Role
Employers have a vital role to play in removing the stigma of mental health and promoting a healthy workplace culture. By providing mental health resources and support, employers can help their employees prioritise their mental health and well-being. This can include offering mental health days, providing access to therapy or counselling, and promoting a culture of open communication and support.

In conclusion, removing the stigma of mental health is essential to promoting a healthy workplace culture and ensuring that employees feel supported and valued. Sick days are not just for physical sickness, and it's perfectly okay to use sick days if your mental health is suffering that day. By acknowledging the importance of mental health and promoting a culture of openness and support, we can help reduce the stigma around mental health and create a more compassionate and understanding society.

If you’re an employer wanting further advice then read our blog on Supporting Employee Mental Health here: www.morganhunt.com/news-and-views/2023/05/supporting-employee-mental-health/271

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WhatsApp Job Scams

11 May 2023

Have you recently received a WhatsApp message from a recruiter who seems suspicious?

We want to alert our candidates to a current scam that preys on job seekers. Some scammers might contact you with enticing job offers to extract your personal information or ask for payment. This scam is currently widespread and affecting thousands of recruiters in the UK. 

If someone contacts you on WhatsApp claiming to be from Morgan Hunt or using the name of one of our consultants, please follow our guidance here: www.morganhunt.com/news-and-views/2023/01/protect-yourself-from-recruitment-scams/261
 

Please remember - our team would never reach out to you using WhatsApp. They would only conduct themselves in a professional manner and will never make any suspicious requests. We would like to thank those who have forwarded us the evidence of this scam. We would also encourage you to report any suspicious scams to the Action Fraud here.


Here are some tips to help you spot a fraudulent message:

  • It's a message that you weren't expecting
  • It comes from a number or email address you don't recognise
  • It contains a link - please avoid clicking it
  • The job offer seems to good to be true
  • They are asking for money or personal details, such as your CV
  • The message is poorly written and contains spelling errors

We apologise for the inconvenience, be assured that we report every issue but unfortunately as these are cyber scams we are unable to stop this widespread issue affecting the whole recruitment industry. Find more advice on how to deal with fraud here.

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Supporting Autistic People in the Workplace

30 March 2023

Autism is a developmental disorder that affects communication, social interaction, and behaviour. According to the National Autistic Society in the UK, around 700,000 people in the country are on the autism spectrum, which means about 1 in every 100 people. It is estimated that only 22% of autistic adults in the UK are in full-time employment, highlighting the challenges faced by autistic individuals in the workplace. In this blog post, we'll explore some tips for supporting autistic people in the workplace.

Provide clear and explicit instructions
One of the main difficulties that autistic people face is understanding implicit or vague instructions. They prefer explicit, step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow. Therefore, it's essential to provide clear and concise instructions for tasks, and if possible, provide written instructions or diagrams.

Create a predictable environment
People with autism can struggle with unpredictability and changes in routine. Therefore, it's helpful to create a predictable and structured environment in the workplace. This can include setting regular work hours, maintaining a consistent schedule, and avoiding sudden changes or surprises.

Be aware of sensory issues
Autistic individuals can be sensitive to noise, bright lights, and other sensory stimuli. Therefore, it's important to be aware of potential sensory triggers in the workplace and take steps to mitigate them. This can include providing noise-cancelling headphones, adjusting lighting, and minimising strong smells or tastes.

Allow for breaks and downtime
Working can be overwhelming for people with autism, especially if they have to navigate social interactions and other stimuli. Therefore, it's essential to allow for regular breaks and downtime to help reduce stress and anxiety. This can include quiet spaces or designated break areas where employees can relax and recharge.

Foster a culture of understanding and acceptance
Autistic people can face stigma and discrimination in the workplace. Therefore, it's crucial to foster a culture of understanding and acceptance, where differences are celebrated and accommodated. This can include educating coworkers about autism, promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives, and providing sensitivity training.

Provide accommodations
Finally, it's essential to provide accommodations to help autistic employees succeed in the workplace. These can include assistive technology, flexible work arrangements, and specialised training. By providing accommodations, you can ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive and contribute to the team.

In conclusion, supporting autistic people in the workplace requires understanding, empathy, and accommodation. It is important to note that 77% of unemployed autistic adults want employment, which highlights the need for businesses to prioritise inclusion and accessibility in their hiring practices. By following the tips above, you can create a welcoming and inclusive environment that allows all employees to succeed. As ever, Morgan Hunt is here to help you, so if you have any further questions on creating an inclusive workplace, get in touch at [email protected].

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Protect Yourself From Recruitment Scams

04 January 2023

There has recently been a significant rise in jobs scams, with fraudsters often impersonating recruitment companies or consultants.

Whilst job scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, the best way to help prevent yourself from becoming a victim of a job scam is to educate yourself on things to look out for during your job search. We have set out warning signs to help you spot a potential job scam.
 

Warning signs when being contacted

Below is a list of warning signs that could indicate you have been contacted by scammer posing as a recruitment consultant:

A purported Morgan Hunt consultant requesting you to: 

  • Provide personal financial details.
  • Pay money for an “administration fee”, “security fee” or an “accreditation fee”. Morgan Hunt will never ask you to pay any type of fee, transfer cash or provide credit card information.
  • Click unsolicited links or attachments.

Online contact from a purported recruitment consultant with:

  • Communications from social media platforms, such as WhatsApp
  • A lack of activity, information, or contact details on their profile.
  • A suspicious profile picture.
  • Poor spelling or grammar in communications.
  • Communications of any sort guaranteeing employment or income.
  • The job description is vague or poorly written
  • Communications from generic addresses such as Gmail or Hotmail accounts. All email communications will be sent from official Morgan Hunt email addresses, such as [email protected]  

Warning sites for webpages

There has also been a rise in cases of fraudsters cloning the sites of legitimate recruitment consultancies in an attempt to steal money and/or the personal details of job seekers and hiring managers. 

To check the legitimacy of a site, we could encourage you to verify the SSL certificate. In most browsers this can be done by clicking the padlock on the far left of the URL. If it doesn’t have one, this could be a sign of a scam website.
 

What to do if you suspect a job scam using the Morgan Hunt name or logo

If you are unsure if a Morgan Hunt advertisement or communication is legitimate and/or you have been requested to attend an in person meeting, please contact your local Morgan Hunt branch or email [email protected] who will assist you as far as possible to verify the information you have received.

Morgan Hunt email addresses take the format of [email protected].If you are contacted by someone whose email address varies from this format, please do not respond.
 

What to do if you think you are the victim of a job scam

Take a screen grab or note of the fraudster’s details and report them to Action Fraud (see Resources below)

If you have given them any money, contact your bank immediately and let them know.

Warn the operators of the website/social media site through which you were contacted and let them know that their site is being used by fraudsters.
 

Report it

For more information on recruitment scams and how to report them, check out these dedicated pages:

To let Morgan Hunt know about a potential scam using our name, please get in touch with your local office here. See here for more information if required regarding the Morgan Hunt Privacy Policy.

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Why Advocacy Is a Great Field To Work In

10 November 2022

Guest Blog — Written by Hammersmith, Fulham, Ealing and Hounslow Mind

There are so many careers to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start, or what to change to if you want to try something different. If you’re looking for a career with real meaning, where you’ll be able to make a difference and genuinely improve people’s lives, advocacy could be for you.

What is advocacy?

An advocate is an independent professional that speaks for someone who may not be able to speak for themselves. Advocates help their clients achieve their goals by listening to them, helping them understand their rights, providing them with options and choices to help empower them to take control of their lives. Advocates do not make decisions on behalf of their clients.

Advocates all work towards the Advocacy Charter that underpins and governs the work they do.

What you need to work in advocacy

Empathy

Advocates need a high degree of empathy to be successful. Being able to understand how your clients feel, and why, is important in being able to help them be fully understood by organisations that have the power to make a difference in their lives.

Independence

You are working for the client and take instruction from the client to ensure their voice is heard.

Advocates must ensure, at all costs, that they take instruction from the client and do as instructed.

The advocate should not be influenced by other organisations or work in a way that disempowers clients.

Communication and Listening Skills

A good advocate is able to listen to their clients and understand what their clients’ issues are.

A good advocate is also able to communicate effectively to everyone they work with, whether that’s their client, the organisation they’re liaising with, case workers, or the local authority.

With the client, and advocate needs to be able to explain processes or situations. They need to take instruction from their client on how the client wants to proceed with their case. They also need to help empower the client to speak up for themselves.

With organisations, advocates need to be able to explain the needs of their client, why their clients want certain changes made, and how this should proceed.

Communication isn’t only knowing what to say, it’s about knowing when to not say anything. Advocates often need to keep information confidential. This is incredibly important and helps keep people safe.

Why advocacy is a great field to work in

You directly help resolve clients’ problems

One of the most rewarding things about working in advocacy is that you get to help people improve their situations.

Whether it’s creating action plans, improving access to resources or infrastructure, or just helping a client feel understood, advocacy has a direct positive impact on people who need help.

Advocates may play a role in helping vulnerable people take the first step to recovery, or greater and more secure sense of wellbeing.

You help to improve services

A large part of working in advocacy is dealing with social services, community organisations, and government agencies. Advocates facilitate meetings to discuss their clients’ needs with the organisation that can help. Throughout this process, as an advocate, you have a unique position to point out how processes could be smoother, simpler, or more effective.

The systems that influence these processes aren’t set in stone. Advocates have regularly made the case for why things need to change or improve, and had a great impact on making things better for other advocates and clients who they will never even meet.

You help clients improve their self-advocacy skills

One of the most important things advocates do is help their clients improve their ability to articulate their own needs and desires, to make them able to advocate for themselves.

Advocacy often starts with gathering information on behalf of the client, helping them understand their position, their rights, and who they need to speak to in order to make changes.

Eventually, advocates may be able to help their clients understand this information, and act on it, to such a point that they no longer require an advocate at all.

At this point, the client can be considered able to self-advocate, and are better able to navigate things by themselves.

Advocacy is an incredibly rewarding field, where you can directly help people in difficult situations, and empower them to improve their own lives.

Learn more about advocacy, or check out Morgan Hunt’s candidate section.

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How To Get Into the Mental Health Sector

07 November 2022

“I’m a Psychology student and I want to get into the Mental Health sector but I have no experience! What can I do?”

 

The Mental Health Sector

With 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health problem each year in England and 1 in 5 people with suicidal thoughts, Mental Health charities all over England are fighting to tackle stigma and support those who are struggling.

Only a small fraction of people experiencing poor mental health can afford private therapy and for those who can't, there are thousands of charities offering a range of Mental Health services for those individuals.

What do Morgan Hunt do?

Morgan Hunt is proud to work with a number of these leading Mental Health charities across England helping to support their recruitment needs. With an ever-growing need for more passionate members of staff, our recruiters are there to help advise individuals on their steps towards a rewarding career.

From Advocacy to Peer Support; Recovery Work to Community Engagement, the Mental Health charity sector has plenty of careers on offer. For many already working in the sector, there are many avenues to trial. However for those new to the sector, it’s knowing what route to take and how to get there in the first place.

For many Psychology or Mental Health students, starting your career can be daunting and for many individuals, knowing where to start is the biggest conundrum.

So where do I start?

As a Mental Health specialist recruiter, I receive a lot of CVs from Psychology or Mental Health graduates. Unfortunately, many have no relevant experience and it is difficult to find them a role within the sector with no prior practice in the field.

To work in the Mental Health sector, you need passion, tenacity and emotional sensitivity. While you may have this already, it is important to prove this in your work experience. It is important to understand that someone experiencing a crisis is considered vulnerable and needs a calm-mannered person to help alleviate a situation.

If you are still in your studies, now is the perfect time to do some work experience. Whether this is volunteering or a 2-week work experience, there are many roles available to budding Mental Health workers and it will look fantastic on your CV.

What options do I have?

Samaritans https://www.samaritans.org/support-us/volunteer/become-samaritans-listening-volunteer/

One brilliant option to consider is a Listening Volunteer at Samaritans. With intense training provided, Samaritans offer an exceptional service for anyone who is in need of someone to talk to.  You will gain the ability to not only understand people but manage difficult emotions and conversations.

The Homeless Sector https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/volunteering/search/volunteer-to-feed-homeless-impoverished-people

Recorded over the past year, there were 28,882 homeless households recorded in 2021/22. Homeless charities are constantly in the need of volunteers to support those who are sleeping rough. Whether that is befriending, being part of a soup kitchen or signposting service users, there are plenty of options to consider.

With 45% of people experiencing homelessness diagnosed with a mental health issue, this experience will give you an understanding of various mental health problems, including alcohol and drug abuse

Befriending https://www.ageuk.org.uk/services/befriending-services/

Loneliness is on the rise, with a number of over-50s experiencing loneliness set to reach two million by 2025/2026. With loneliness often comes depression and for many elderly people, being able to talk to someone on the phone or in person can help improve those feeling low. Befriending is a service offered by many charities, including Age UK. You can do it over the phone or in person and is a fantastic opportunity to work on your people skills.

Peer Support https://openmentalhealth.org.uk/individuals/peer-volunteer/

For those students who might have lived experience of poor mental health, there is an option for a career in Peer Support. Whether it is anxiety or depression, if you are someone who has accessed therapy in the past, you could make a great Peer Support Worker. Using your personal experiences and empathy to support other people can be an incredibly rewarding role and help those struggling to open up to you.

Finding an opportunity that works for you is ideal. I suggest considering these options listed above during your studies. After you graduate, many people will be in the same boat as you looking for a career with no experience to help kick-start this. Whether it is once a week or a few weeks of work experience, some experience looks better than none and gives you an opportunity to try out the sector and figure out what you enjoy and don’t enjoy.

Once you have this experience under your belt, I can help you find a career within the incredibly rewarding sector.

Morgan Hunt’s Amara Howe specialises in Permanent and FTC Mental Health recruitment. To get in touch for advice or to ask about roles, please get in touch with her via email at [email protected]

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