The guide was launched at an event at Jacobs on 26 February at which Mark Thurston, CEO of HS2, gave the key-note address. Other speakers included: Jonathan Duckworth, Chair of Paddington Survivors' Group; Patrick Rea, PR and Campaign Director, PTSD Resolution; and Dr Liz Royle, Director, KRTS International Ltd.    

Introduction

The stresses and strains of modern life can affect many of us. According to the World Health Organization, one in four people in the world suffer some form of mental ill-health at some points in their lives. One way to help manage stress is to improve emotional resilience.

Major incidents such as the recent Streatham and London Bridge terrorist attacks and the severe flooding across many parts of the country, as well as historic incidents such as the Grenfell Tower fire and Manchester Arena bombing, can create major stresses for those directly and indirectly affected, often lasting for years or lifetimes, and impact organisations and communities for generations.

Objective

For Resilience First, the issue of emotional resilience extends beyond the individual as that person operates as part of a larger community, especially at work. The business community can support the individual and, in return, the individual can support the community.

The aim of the guide is to reflect the best practices that business communities can advance in order to improve the emotional resilience of their employees and others around them at work in advance of, and subsequent to, a traumatic experience (defined here as the loss of life or actual or threatened injury arising from major incidents or prolonged disruption).

The focus is on pre- and post-incident activities that are suitable for adaptive approaches by organisations, groups or communities. It includes practices and responses to routine stresses – as they are the bedrock of any collective response – but the guide concentrates on advice to organisations and businesses of whatever size.

Robert Hall, Executive Director of Resilience First, said: 

“Emotional resilience must not be viewed as an ‘add-on’ that is left to others such as HR departments to implement. Rather, it is something that matters to all across the organisation. It should be embedded in the culture and behaviours of that organisation and must be inspired by the leadership.”

“A policy of empowering staff should help to ensure they are able to adapt effectively, both personally and professionally, especially if the normal management chains are disrupted. It will also help staff to buy into the mission-critical objectives of the organisation.”

Fiona O’Donnell, Jacobs People & Places Solutions Head of Health, Safety & Environment, said:

“With so many factors behind emotional resilience, this guidance shares some of the key fundamentals that can help us all better understand the issues and strengthen our practices in our own mental health strategies.”

“Building emotional resilience is an important part of our global programme at Jacobs and we look forward to continuing to work with organisations, like Resilience First, our business partners and our communities, so we continue to learn and improve together.”