Mental health awareness week 2024

Claire Moore
Human Resources
Claire Moore, HR adviser for Lovewell Blake

We take a look at the steps you can take to help promote good mental health within your workplace.

Claire Moore, HR adviser for Lovewell Blake

Over the last few years’ employers have placed increasing value on nurturing the wellbeing of their employees. Whilst providing healthy snacks and step challenges are brilliant, it is just as important to remember that employee wellbeing goes a lot further than physical health. Work-related stress and mental illness now account for over half of work absences.

We take a look at the steps you can take to help promote good mental health within your workplace.

Start the conversation

World Mental Health Week is a great time to start the conversation around mental health, letting your staff know ‘its ok to not always be ok’. There are a whole host of resources on the Time to Change website which you can use to start the conversation within your workplace.

Confirm your commitment

A documented policy can provide clarity for employees on the steps they should follow if they find themselves struggling at any point. It also confirms your commitment to employee’s mental wellbeing by letting them know what you will do to help.

Encourage your employees to be honest when reporting absences, let them know it’s ok to have time off due to poor mental health. The sooner you are aware of the issues your employee is facing the sooner you can support them.

Mental Health First Aiders

Many organisations are taking action by training Mental Health First Aiders within their workplace. Volunteers will typically complete a two-day training session with Mental Health First Aid England. Staff are trained to be first responder ‘listeners’ who can signpost services, not counsellors or experts. If your staff are unable to attend a full 2 day course, there is also a one day champion course available.

Train People Managers

It is important that managers know the signs of mental health conditions so they can help identify members of their team that may need support. Small adjustments can really help employees struggling with their mental health. Managers should feel confident to start conversations with employees and be able to signpost them to external support.

Job design and workload

One common cause of workplace stress is excessive workload; staff can become overloaded if they cannot cope with the amount or type of work they are asked to do. Managers should look to ensure that staff workload is manageable. It is inevitable that there will be times when workload is increased, however if this period becomes prolonged then job design/resourcing levels should be reviewed.

To discuss how we can help to design your own mental health policy

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