How to address mental health in the workplace

man stressed at work

Employers play an important role in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health at work.

As a society, we’ve come a long way in understanding mental health issues and how to look after our mental wellbeing. However, despite progress, there’s still a long way to go.

It’s crucial to the health and wellbeing of employees that employers across all sectors put policies and processes in place to promote positive mental health practices and an open, inclusive, and compassionate workplace culture.

This article will explore what employers can do to address mental health in the workplace and support employers experiencing mental health problems.

How to address issues with mental health in the workplace

Mental health exists on a spectrum, and recognising that everyone’s mental health fluctuates throughout their lifetime is the first step in creating a supportive workplace environment. Employees should be able to openly discuss their mental health at work without worrying about stigma or discrimination.

Let’s look at ways businesses can foster a workplace culture that openly supports mental health and addresses issues in the workplace.

  • Normalise conversations about mental health.
  • Create a culture where discussing mental health is as accepted as talking about physical health.
  • Create clear communication channels for discussing mental health and raising concerns.
  • Run initiatives that promote positive mental health and wellbeing.
  • Make it company policy to carry out regular one-to-ones with employees where managers or team leaders check in with them about how they are.
  • Train leadership in mental health awareness and first aid.

Implementing these strategies can help employers create a more inclusive and supportive workplace, making identifying issues and addressing mental health in the workplace easier.

What to do if someone in your workplace is experiencing a mental health problem

The relationship that those in leadership roles have with employees plays a critical role in determining how comfortable they feel opening up and sharing personal issues, including mental health problems. Employers must recognise this and invest in leadership training and development. If you notice an employee showing signs of mental health issues, you may need to sensitively and discretely raise this with them. Let’s learn what steps to take when approaching an employee about mental health concerns.

  1. Choose somewhere quiet, relaxed, and private to have the conversation.
  2. Be positive, but express you have noticed a change in their mood or behaviour.
  3. Be honest and direct
  4. Practice active listening.
  5. Show empathy and be supportive.
  6. Encourage them to seek appropriate advice or support.
  7. Signpost appropriate support services or resources.
  8. Develop an action plan.
  9. Regularly check-in and review how they’re doing.

Ideally, a trained mental health first aider should carry out these steps. Mental health first aiders act as the first point of contact for employees who find themselves struggling with mental health problems. Here at Care Business Associate Training, we run a popular FAA Level 3 Award in Supervising First Aid for Mental Health (RFQ) training course, which equips individuals with all the skills and knowledge required to identify mental health conditions and provide mental health first aid at work. For more information about this course or to find out about similar courses we run, call our team on 01772 816 922 or email