We have been working with mental health charity Mind on a series of articles exploring mental health in the workplace. Take a look at the full content series today to get insight and advice on how to improve mental wellbeing throughout your organisation.
As we’ve witnessed the sea change in public opinion on mental health over the past decade, we’ve also started to see employers recognise the importance of supporting staff and their wellbeing in the workplace.
At Mind, we know that people perform better at work when they feel valued and well supported, and it’s encouraging to see employers from across various sectors waking up to this.
In 2017, the prime minister commissioned a review into mental health and employment, and the outcome showed for the first time just how significant this issue is.
Around 300,000 people with a long-term mental health problem fall out of work every year, a cost of up £99bn to the UK economy. Despite the progress that we’ve seen in attitudes to mental health, it shows just how much further there is to go when it comes to mental health at work.
What employers need to start doing to support mental health
The reviewers’ final report, Thriving at Work, recommended steps that employers could take to improve, in the form of the ‘mental health core standards’. These are standards that all employers, of any shape and size, should be implementing to set them on their way to creating a mentally healthy workplace:
- Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan
- Develop mental health awareness among employees
- Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling
- Provide employees with good working conditions and ensure they have a healthy work-life balance and opportunities for development
- Promote effective people management through line managers and supervisors
- Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing
These new recommendations provide a basis for all employers, but how they will look in practical terms will vary from employer to employer and across sectors. They aren’t mandatory, but with the backing of the prime minister and senior leaders, now is the time to drive home a real culture change that will transform people’s day-to-day experiences of the workplace.
How Mind is tackling mental health
At Mind, we help employers meet these standards, regardless of what stage they’re at. We’ve been campaigning and working with employers to improve the state of workplace mental health since 2010, and now have a dedicated Workplace Wellbeing team. We offer training and consultancy packages on subjects such as mental health awareness, emotional intelligence and resilience, and training for line managers.
We also run our Workplace Wellbeing Index every year, a new benchmark for best policy and practice on workplace mental health and provide bespoke recommendations on where employers could improve, so that they can provide their staff with the best possible environment for them to thrive.
More people than ever now recognise the importance of getting this right, and the cost – both human and financial – of getting it wrong. We now need to start embedding best practice into organisations of all shapes and sizes, and we’ll continue to use our expertise and experience to help make this happen.