Recovery Plus: Workplace wellbeing Recovery Plus essential reference your library’s for y essential eossuern atdiadli cretifoenre-reference rnecceo very library From DBrecoveryresources.com September June 20 F1e5b - 2016 2M0a16y 2 19 10916 About the author With an MA in clinical pychology, Nick Barton has sat on many panels advising government on aspects of treatment delivery, family support and workforce development. He has been instrumental in developing interventions to support families and carers affected by substance misuse since 1986. In 1998, he founded For Families to respond to their needs, driving its national roll out of the M-PACT (Moving Parents And Children Together) programme as an evidencebased response to children living with parental substance misuse and addiction. He also established the pioneering Working Recovery project to facilitate social re-integration. In 2008, Nick was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Health from the University of Bath, in recognition of his contribution to the addiction field. An employee whose life revolves round someone with an addiction can be chronically stressed and perform below par. Supporting them will pay dividends, Nick Barton explains. The progressive damage to their mental and physical health will at some level take its toll on performance and productivity or put them at risk of developing long-term problems of ill-health. In taking steps to ensure a healthy workforce, they need to be given due consideration. It will be to everyone’s benefit. But it is unlikely that people will come forward for help unless they are confident of a sympathetic and understanding reception. That is why companies must convey their recognition of circumstances that could affect valuable employees and risks to their health and wellbeing as family members. Supporting these employees to obtain specialist help will pay dividends. The good news is that support for families affected by addiction need not be costly nor even long term. There is evidence to support the effectiveness of relatively brief interventions. The starting point is empathy with the family members' situation and from there steps are taken to help them reorient themselves in relation to the addicted family member. Understanding the hold that addiction has on them and developing practical steps towards improving self-care are vital. Professional interventions can be well supported by mutual aid groups that are ubiquitous and free. It does not take much for the symptoms commonly associated with personal involvement with an addicted person to abate. A company then has an employee with renewed capacity with a renewed energy and outlook. their situation, struggling to find a solution on their own, proverbially beating themselves up as they fail to do so. Despite their best intentions, an employee in this predicament is likely at some point to perform below par. A nagging preoccupation with the family situation with all its stressful effects will reduce mental and physical capacity, even when work can be a welcome diversion. It can be hard to be fully present when there is a serious problem festering at home, forever threatening to intrude into consciousness. The situation is on a par with that of other carers whose loved ones suffer from a life-threatening condition. Addiction can be characterised as a consuming relationship with a substance or behaviour and in the process often consumes those in a collateral relationship to the addicted individual, extending the characterisation from “consuming” to “all-consuming” relationship. And the scale of the problem? In short, there are a great many more people in the position of family members and others relating closely to them than there are addicted people. The best estimates are that for each person with an addiction or a problem with substances, 4 to 5 other people close by will be personally affected. This means that there are millions of people affected – possibly as many as 12million. In turn, that means that a high proportion of the UK workforce comprises people whose life is affected by their association with people who are addicted or who have significant problems with alcohol or (legal and illegal) drugs, not to mention other addictive disorders.
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