Small charities need to do more to protect mental health of staff, says survey

Small charities need to do more to improve the mental health needs of their staff and volunteers amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a survey is warning.

The Small Charities Coalition surveyed those working for more than 700 charities about their health and wellbeing needs.

The overwhelming majority (90%) of respondents felt there was not sufficient support for staff and volunteers in small charities around their mental health needs.

Just 22% said they felt confident to talk about their mental health with their manager. More than half (58%) want to see more information and support available for trustees to help them deal with the issue.

Meanwhile, more than two thirds (69%) felt the pandemic had a “significant impact on their mental well being” and 31% said their mental helath was having a significant impact on their personal relationships.

In addition, 45% of respondents taking part are either chief executives or manager, while 20% are trustees.

“The fact that so many small charities and Small Charities Coalition members want to talk about the emotional and mental wellbeing of the staff and volunteers in their organisation, is indicative of the pressure charities in general, and small charities in particular are under,” said Small Charities Coaltion chief executive Rita Chadha.

“The results demonstrate that the pressures within the not for profit sector, the changes in working patterns, the continual changing nature of relationships and the overall lack of certainty over funding, should act as a wakeup call to how much stress charities are under.

“To not act on these results would be to ignore the wellbeing of the sector's workforce. At SCC we are determined to make sure that people understand that mental health and wellbeing are essential to the delivery of quality services and long term sustainability”.

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