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UK's approach to resilience and wellbeing not fit for purpose, say Lords

The UK’s current approach to resilience and wellbeing is not fit for purpose, according to a new Parliamentary report.

Living in a Covid World, published by the House of Lords Covid-19 Committee, concluded that the UK needs more focus on long-term issues and must put a greater emphasis on peoples’ wellbeing.

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Government alone, the report found, should not be responsible for setting the resilience agenda, and businesses, charities and communities have a duty to promote wellbeing throughout society.

Martha Lane-Fox, baroness of Soho and chair of the committee, said that the cycle of electoral politics does not cope well with long-term problems.

She said: “This is a wake-up call which must be heeded.

“Our ability to plan and coordinate has been shown to be wanting; now is the opportunity for us to resent the state and build it back to be more adaptable, more resilient, more devolved and more collaborative so we can effectively deal with any disasters, crises or systemic shocks that may occur in the future.

“Wellbeing and resilience must be at the heart of this reset for it to be successful.”

Gosia Bowling, national lead for emotional wellbeing at healthcare company Nuffield Health, told HR magazine that anticipating and ‘bouncing back’ from periods of difficulty will be a key skill for employees in years to come.

She said: “Regularly managing tight deadlines, mounting workloads, adapting to new technology and navigating complex workplace relationships, all require unique, individual coping mechanisms.

“The emotional impact of relentless stressful circumstances can lead to difficulty concentrating, indecision, irritability and depression, with long-term stress eventually leading to exhaustion and burnout.”

It is vital, she added, that employers be able to recognise warning signs and respond in a healthy way. 

She said: “An employer’s first steps should be helping staff achieve feelings of stability and belonging, even if they are not entering the office every day.

“For example, emotional literacy training is an effective tool for boosting employee resilience by ensuring staff have a common language to discuss mental health. 

“It gives them the knowledge, self-awareness, and empathy to be better listeners.”

The report also contained a number of recommendations to empower local leadership, highlighted a lack of governmental preparedness for the new hybrid-digital world and the long-term impact of Covid on different sections of society.

The report can be accessed here