An entrepreneur and Ironman triathlete says businesses need help to provide mental health care for their employees.

Rob Mitchell-James is a qualified mental health first-aider (MHFA) and the founder of LIFECYCLE Coaching and #ManReBranded, a website and support network focused on men's mental health.

Mitchell-James, who competed in Ironman UK in 2014 and 2015, told BusinessCloud that leadership and senior management teams “need to be better equipped”.

“Employers not only need educating in how to deal with employees’ mental health issues, but once educated, they also need support in providing effective resources to help those who are affected,” he said.

“A quarter of an organisation’s workforce will be affected by mental health issues at some point. As awareness around mental health in the workplace increases, so will the demand for the services.”

→ Mitchell-James will be speaking at our Entrepreneurs and mental health breakfast on 10th April. Book now

As a professionally trained screen and film actor, Mitchell-James has appeared in Peaky Blinders, Coronation Street and several productions for Nine Lives Media for Channel 4 and Channel 5. He is also a TV producer and has appeared in films.

In 2016 he wrote and presented his own TED Talk called ‘ManReBranded - Why Modern Masculinity is Fundamentally Flawed’.

He now works with businesses and individuals to advise on mental health awareness and to provide personalised coaching and development programmes to help establish the necessary goals to overcome limiting beliefs, to build resilience, to improve decision making and to facilitate change and improvement.

“It’s unfortunate, but the large majority [of people suffering from mental health problems] still do not speak up.

“Ninety-five per cent of employees who call in sick with stress- or anxiety-related issues give a different reason for their absence because they are fearful of speaking up honestly.” 

Social Chain co-founder Dominic McGregor, also set to speak in Manchester, says social media is one of the biggest drivers behind mental health problems.

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