MS@Work Webinar 1.0 with Graham Halsey

We held in November the first EMSP MS@Work Webinar with Graham Halsey, Return to Work and Absence Management expert.

Graham spoke from the employer’s perspective on the costs of absence, the average days lost per year due to employees being ill, the processes businesses need to build and other aspects of managing a diverse workforce. From the individual’s perspective, there are the challenges of with mental health, long-term illness, disclosure and accessing the support needed to continue with a professional career.

Wellness Recovery Action Programme (WRAP)

One of the tools mentioned was a Wellness Recovery Action Programme, WRAP.  Mental health advocates developed this a wellness toolbox that has currently more than 100,000 users worldwide from all walks of life and all wellness levels. Everyone can benefit from WRAP.

WRAP is a Wellness Recovery Action Plan that is self-designed and is a “preventative wellness process that anyone can use to both get and stay well, as well as to make their life the way they want it to be”. This is a wellness toolbox, originally developed by mental health advocates and is now used by +100,000 people worldwide from all walks of life and all wellness levels. Everyone can benefit from WRAP.

WRAP is a Wellness Recovery Action Plan that is self-designed. Furthermore, it is a “preventative wellness process that anyone can use to get well, stay well and shape their life the way they want it to be”.
As the theory of return to work, early intervention and WRAP becomes better understood and applied across the workforce, we would like to see an improvement in the levels of employment amongst people with MS and other long-term health conditions.

With these changes:

  • It will be possible for people to be open about their health condition without wrecking their career;
  • We show people the evidence BUT ‘seeing is believing’ … people with long-term health conditions will become better advocates if they are empowered with the right tools and resources to initiate a discussion;
  • We will increase  self-confidence and competence  by developing skills and resourcefulness.

Graham Halsey also covered the benefits of having open communication between staff and employers, how having a holistic approach to managing absence benefits workers and businesses and the small things every one of us can do to have a healthy and happy workforce.

Listen back the Webinar:

MS@Work Webinar 2.0 with Yolanda Higueras

On 11th December at 12 CET, Yolanda Higueras, renowned Neuropsychologist presented the second MS@Work Webinar. She spoke about mental health and employment, identity and other issues that affect people with MS.

What kind of person are you? Confident, shy or sociable? Ambitious or right now in survival mode and going with the flow? Are you happy? Yolanda Higueras challenged everyone to consider a range of questions when it comes to work, MS and mental health.

Listen back to the webinar:

The reasons for job loss, unemployment or underemployment are multifaceted. They depend on who you are, your education, your professional skills and experience, the country where you live, the MS symptoms affecting you.

How has a person dealt with being diagnosed with MS? Are they managing their symptoms, adhering to treatment? When it comes to work, is it the right work? Do people stay in a job despite being qualified for something else? Is the person going to work despite being ill (presenteeism)?

Yolanda Higueras shared the statistics on employment rates across the world of people with MS: Charts contained information about MS patients at work:

  • Factors that would enable MS patients to stay at work.
  • Factors that would prevent MS patients from staying in unemployment.
  • Type & Duration of MS by unemployment status.

In addition, she has answered a diverse range of questions on cognition, depression and financial security. Listen back to the webinar, make your comments on Twitter @eumsplatform and use #MSatWork.

Check out the www.msatwork.life website for resources.