A DOCTOR has launched a service set to provide an alternative to the one-size-fits-all approach adopted by businesses to mental health care for their employees.

Dr Fiona Murray, who has led a successful mental health team as part of the NHS for the past 15 years, has established Wellbeing For Working Lives (WFWL), which aims to provide treatment in areas where patients can wait months to receive help.

Dr Murray, who manages a primary care mental health team on the South Side, founded her business alongside Carol Richards, a specialist in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

WFWL’s service takes the form of workshops staged in businesses to identify employees with early symptoms of mental health issues and those with developed problems that have not yet been addressed by a health professional.

Dr Murray said: “Our major challenge is overcoming the perception that ‘counselling’ is the form of treatment for those with mental health.

“We are trying to improve access to psychological services for people with common mental health problems through their employers, relieving pressure on both the NHS and, by getting people back to work or keeping them at work, on the economy.

“Current occupational health services tend to offer only individual counselling whereas WFWL offers matched stepped care preventative and treatment models, meaning employers can optimise the budget they have ringfenced to support the mental health needs of their workforce.

“We know there are individuals at work in Central Scotland who have either not or not been able to access help yet or who are in danger of suffering from mental health issues.

"Businesses need a skilled and experienced team within their set up to identify early symptoms or to identify in good time people with mental health issues in terms of risk and need.”

To kick-start the business, Fiona and Carol have run free taster sessions.

Among the businesses to sign up is Glasgow-based Swipii, the customer loyalty platform for local businesses.