Workplace mental health first aid means more than just box ticking

  • June 12, 2023

Clare Price, Director of Clinical Services at Onebright

For years there have been discussions about mental health first aid becoming a legal requirement in the workplace, but no Government to date has implemented a policy. It was good to see Mr. Russell re-introduce a bill in parliament in January, but we have to remember that it is very rare that ‘ten-minute bills’ such as this one become law.

The one thing it has done is get us all talking and thinking about how to best support employees and inspire effective change for the benefit of individuals across the country.

Previous studies have shown that providing mental health support can save businesses up to £8 billion* a year, with 70 million workdays being lost annually due to mental health-related issues. It is clear that companies at executive level should endorse mental health first aid in their organizational culture with open arms, however, it’s introduction should not become a way to tick a box.

With the introduction of remote and hybrid working over the years, businesses have had to adapt how they support their workforce, especially those who may find it difficult to cope with their mental and emotional wellbeing.

What to consider when implementing mental health first aid

The role of a mental health first aider sits entirely outside the role of HR, or senior management. They act as the first point of contact for employees to talk to when experiencing a mental health issue, which then helps sign post the employee to appropriate resources, whether that be an organizational support such as a wellbeing service or an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), or to their GP, the NHS or other recognized third sector and charity organisations.

The ease of accessibility to mental health first aiders is

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How Some Firms Get a Leg Up on Tech and Talent: The Morning Minute

  • May 4, 2023

TECH BY OSMOSIS – Product demos can only take you so far. Sometimes the best way to gain a deeper understanding of a topic like technology is to just hang out with folks who really get it. While tech industry belt-tightening has led Big Law to trim emerging companies and venture capital (ECVC) practices, midsize law firms have actually embraced those clients. And, as’s Isha Marathe reports, doing so can help firms in ways that go beyond just their bottom lines. Often, for instance, these practices push law firms to become early adopters of legal technology. For those that really develop connections with the ECVC communities, such practices also can provide them with more access to technology experts or lawyers with honed tech skills.

PRIVATE PRIVACY CLAIMS PROLIFERATE – On its way to Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk is the My Health My Data Act, the “first state-level health data bill of its kind,” aimed at protecting personal information related to health conditions or attempts to obtain health care services. It’s also the first state privacy law to contain a “private right of action” provision since 2008, which means that, for the tech industry, there will be litigation. Likely lots of it,’s Riley Brennan reports. “We have seen wave after wave of cases filed not just against the large tech companies, but against the companies that use their products,” said David Zetoony, the co-chair of Greenberg Traurig’s data, privacy and cybersecurity practice. “Washington’s statute will certainly add more fuel to that fire and give plaintiffs attorneys another statute and legal theory to explore.”

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State attorney general launches investigation into medical data tracking

  • July 5, 2022

GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT) – State lawmakers are looking into possible privacy concerns with medical information.

Attorney General Josh Stein’s office, along with other state representatives, are conducting an investigation into a tracker using patients’ personal data. State Rep. Brian Farkas along with State Rep. Donnie Lambeth of Forsyth County wrote to the attorney general asking him to investigate when they became aware of the issue through a report called “The Markup.”

Farkas said the report showed that 22 of Newsweek’s top 100 hospitals use a tracker called Meta Pixel, which provides Facebook a packet of data when someone tries to schedule a doctor’s appointment through the online portal.

“It’s just, I think every North Carolinians deserves that access to privacy and care without having to worry about all of a sudden their advertising across their social media platforms is going to change and be a little too specific,” said Farkas.

Farkas said he hopes the investigation will lead to policy changes that will make sure there are clear lines when it comes to health care and privacy.

“We’ve got to, you know, make sure that no clear lines are drawn on what privacy means in North Carolina, and what patients should expect in this state. And frankly, I want us to be the leader in the nation as a state for personal protecting personal private information,” said Farkas.

ECU Health said they do not use the tracker, issuing the following statement:

“ECU Health is committed to protecting patient privacy and ensuring the integrity of sensitive health information. As part of this commitment, ECU Health does not use data tracking tools like Meta Pixel on any of out patient portals.”

The report named Novant Health, which runs 14 medical centers in cities like Winston-Salem and Charlotte, as using the

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