B8 was previously the stress and violence element. Mostly it still is. But in this day and age, stress is becoming a naughty word. Instead it has been subsumed into the wider area of mental health. It is true to say that long-term stress can indeed lead to mental ill health – especially the outward signs of depression and anxiety and, in some cases, violent tendencies (just watch UK Parliament Prime Minister’s question time and you’ll get the idea).
So, the first section is now re-titled effects and causes of mental ill health at work (though I suspect in a few years time this will be changed tomental health and well-being). In keeping with the mental ill health, some of the content has now been brought in from the health and well-being certificate, particularly the effects of ill-health on behaviour. The later sections also adopt themes from the health and well-being certificate, such as the concept that people with mental ill-health issues can continue to work effectively (for example, recently, in the BBC drama “River”, Stellan Skarsgård played a detective with serious mental health issues – hallucinating ‘manifests’ of dead people that helped him think through a case to identify the perpetrator. He was clearly far from ‘normal’, mentally, and in fact rather scary but was nonetheless a damn fine detective – with the support of those around him (including an occupational psychiatrist). I know it’s just TV, but you get the point – there’s no need to stick people in the mental hospital when keeping them in work with a bit of support would be a better solution.
The violence and aggression sections are much as they were before, with a little reorganisation for clarity. Interestingly I met up recently with some enforcement colleagues who agreed that one of the biggest things in their minds was managing to get away from an enforcement visit without getting thumped. No wonder communications and dealing with people are up on the agenda. I suspect too that on enforcement visits, being greeted with offers of tea and biscuits has become somewhat rarer since the introduction of fees for intervention. I wonder why?