How to support mental health in the workplace

Supporting mental health in the workplace

If you’ve ever struggled with your mental health, and most of us have, you will know that poor mental health can have a substantial impact across all areas of your life.

From intrusive thoughts and tiredness to a racing pulse and trouble concentrating, those struggling with mental health problems experience a wide range of symptoms. These symptoms don’t just affect their wellbeing; they can also influence their personal relationships and performance at work.

Businesses that invest time and resources into fostering a positive mental health culture provide essential support to their employees and create a positive workplace culture and a happy, motivated, and productive workforce.

In this article, we will provide practical tips and insightful advice on how to improve mental health in the workplace.

How to manage mental health in the workplace

So, why is good mental health important in the workplace?

Employees spend a significant amount of their lives at work, so employers have an ethical and moral responsibility to prioritise their mental health like they would their physical safety.

Aside from meeting ethical standards, according to the Institute of Business Ethics, there is strong evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive. Simply put, if you care for your employees, they will be more motivated and able to perform better at work.

When supporting mental health in the workplace, the most important thing to do is invest in employee training. After all, how can they manage mental health if they don’t understand the diverse range of mental health conditions out there and the best ways to support those struggling?

It’s crucial to provide employees in supervisory and managerial positions with professional training to help them manage mental health in the workplace. This gets them onboard and arms them with the knowledge and skills they need to recognise mental health conditions and offer appropriate support to colleagues and employees. Professional training also equips them with the skills required to create and maintain a positive mental health culture in the workplace.

As well as enrolling all supervisors and managers in mental health training courses, it’s equally as important to integrate a positive approach to mental health into your business’s core policies and procedures. This includes establishing clear steps for identifying mental health issues and ensuring adequate support systems are in place. It also involves creating a framework that responds to mental health challenges and proactively works to prevent them.

How to reduce mental health stigma in the workplace

While society is becoming more knowledgeable about and accepting of mental health issues, there can still be some stigma attached to admitting when you’re struggling.

The truth is, whilst not everyone has a diagnosed mental health condition, we all have to work at maintaining good mental health and have better mental health at some points in our lives than at others.

In the workplace, no one should feel like they have to struggle with mental health problems alone because of negative or discriminatory attitudes toward mental illness. Businesses have a responsibility to ensure they encourage open communication and a supportive culture surrounding mental health to minimise stigma in the workplace.

Here are some steps that employers can take to help minimise the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace:

Encourage open communication

Creating an environment where employees feel safe to discuss their mental health without fear of stigma or repercussions is very important. When employees are comfortable opening up and talking about their struggles, the employer can offer them support and resources to improve their mental wellbeing.

Provide regular one-to-one check-ins

Regular one-to-one check-ins can help managers stay informed about their employee’s mental health and wellbeing and provide support as needed.

Hosting mental health awareness events or talks

Organising events or talks dedicated to mental health awareness is a powerful tool for reducing stigma. These events could range from inviting mental health professionals to speak, hosting workshops on mental wellness, or arranging team activities centred around mindfulness and stress relief. These events allow employees to gain a deeper understanding of mental health issues.

Promote inclusivity

Creating a workplace environment that values diversity and inclusivity can help to reduce stigma. This includes having clear policies against discrimination and creating a support network for employees experiencing mental health issues.

How to implement mental health awareness in the workplace

Implementing mental health awareness initiatives is an ongoing process that requires dedication from those in leadership roles. Leaders must lead by example by not only endorsing mental health initiatives but actively participating in them too.

Mental health awareness must be integrated into a business’s very framework, including its workplace policies. Open communication channels must be established, and accessible professional resources and support should be provided.

Because mental health at work starts with strong leadership, all employees in managerial and supervisory roles must be trained in how to support the mental health of those they work with.

Here at Care Business Associate Training, we run an FAA Level 3 Award in Supervising First Aid for Mental Health (RQF). This invaluable course teaches individuals how to identify mental health conditions, start conversations about mental health, and provide appropriate support. It teaches important steps for implementing mental health awareness in the workplace.

For more information about this course or to find out about similar courses we run, call our team on 01772 816 922 or email