It’s estimated that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year. In 2018, 56% of organisations surveyed by the CIPD, identified mental ill health as a top three cause of long-term absence. It was the most common cause of absence for almost one quarter of organisations1.
We’ve curated a list of seven helpful, and free, resources for supporting mental health. Whether you already have a strategy in place, or if your business is just starting out on this journey, we hope this curation will inform and inspire you.
A comprehensive guide
For a complete but easy-to-digest guide covering all aspects of mental health in the workplace, visit the CIPD mental health factsheet. It covers everything from the legal position on mental health and employment, to approaches businesses can take to make mental health an integrated part of wider wellbeing at work.
Help for managers
Managers are often the first to notice when someone is struggling with a mental health problem. Training line managers in how to handle mental health concerns, and making sure they know where to direct people to for further support, is absolutely crucial. This Mind guide to supporting staff with a mental health problem talks about encouraging open conversations, developing steps to address issues, and helping people return to work.
Stress in the workplace
Stress-related absence is on the rise. And alarmingly, three in ten organisations who identify stress as a top cause of absence, are not taking steps to reduce it1. Factors behind stress at work include workload, management style, and considerable organisational change1. Mental Health First Aid England have produced a great toolkit to help ‘Address Your Stress’ including a range of resources and practical tips to manage stress at work.
If everyone in an organisation understands that talking about mental health is okay, and can ask, ‘how are you?’ then you’ve won half the battle. Time to Change aims to end mental health discrimination and provides a number of customisable resources to support mental health campaigning within the workplace, including posters, email signatures and social media posts.
Promoting positive mental health
Mental health promotion is an important part of any mental health strategy; making sure everyone knows what help is available and how to use it. This ACAS guide to promoting positive mental health in the workplace covers creating a mental health policy, ways to improve the workplace, and educating the workforce about mental health.
For smaller businesses
Supporting employee mental health can be a challenge for smaller businesses. Often, there can be budget or resource constraints, but mental wellbeing is an important focus for small businesses. Business in the Community, in association with Public Health England, have published this thorough mental health toolkit for employers, with small businesses in mind. It covers building your approach, promoting a positive culture, and support and training that can help. The Federation of Small Businesses also provides an informative guide into wellbeing.
For larger businesses
It’s likely you will have heard of the Stevenson/Farmer ‘Thriving at Work’ review. The City Mental Health Alliance used this review to create a framework for supporting mental health, in businesses that employ over 500 people – helping them to become mentally healthy workplaces. It includes a self-assessment tool which allows employers to benchmark their practices and initiatives against others.
Simplyhealth Knowledge Exchange
A shameless plug. The Knowledge Exchange is our new portal for all types of business to showcase their ideas, best practices and resources for supporting all aspects of health and wellbeing, including mental health. You can read stories of how other organisations do it and access their resources, as well as share your knowledge and tools.
Simplyhealth Engagement Centre
Another shameless plug, but the Simplyhealth Engagement Centre, designed to support employers with a range of wellbeing campaigns, is packed full of tools and resources to help you promote all things wellbeing. Make sure to take a look at the upcoming mental health campaigns – Time to Talk Day on 7 February, and Mental Health Awareness Week in May.
We’ll be talking more things mental health at our roundtable sessions, at this week’s REBA Employee Wellbeing Awards. We’ll cover normalising mental health, as well as share examples of how businesses can create a preventative approach and encourage early intervention. Visit the REBA website to find out more.
- CIPD/Simplyhealth Health and Well-being at Work 2018 report