Mental health and wellbeing in the workplace
Mental health describes how a person is feeling and how they cope with everyday life. It's often referred to as mental wellbeing or emotional health. We all have it.
Staying in positive mental health allows employees to:
- realise their full potential
- cope with the pressures of everyday life
- work productively
- make good choices
- have positive relationships
For employers, this translates into reduced staff absence and improved staff retention, which brings positive economic benefits.
The cost of poor mental health
With 1 in 6 employees currently experiencing mental health problems, then mental health is an essential business concern:
- mental health conditions are a leading cause of sickness absence in the UK (ranked after minor illnesses and musculoskeletal problems). More than 17.5 million absence days were attributed to stress, anxiety and depression in 2018 (ONS, 2019).
- mental health issues account for a significant percentage of presenteeism (attending work while sick), which affects productivity. This costs UK employers around £27 billion a year (Deloitte, 2020)
- length of absence from work is 7.5 times longer for mental health problems, than it is for physical illness
Support in Staffordshire
Everyone Health Staffordshire
Everyone Health Staffordshire offer a free healthy lifestyle service to Staffordshire residents. This includes support to help people lose weight, get more active and stop smoking, plus support for people who feel lonely or isolated. Please note, some restrictions do apply.
They also offer a free healthy workplace service to some businesses in Staffordshire, to support employees to stay healthy. Restrictions do apply, so please contact Everyone Health to discuss if your business may be eligible.
Support for carers in Staffordshire - The Carers Hub
The Carers Hub is a single point of contact for carers and their families in Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent. They aim to improve the lives of carers of all ages through support, advice, information and training, which includes support for mental health and wellbeing issues.
As just under 90,000 people in Staffordshire provide unpaid care (Census data, 2011), then it’s likely that your business has carers as employees, so make sure they receive the advice and support they need by signposting them to this useful website.
Resources to support your employees with their mental health and wellbeing
Take a look at these useful training sessions, toolkits, websites and campaigns to help improve mental health and wellbeing in your workplace.
Business in the Community has partnered with Public Health England to produce this simple and informative toolkit to help businesses support the mental health and wellbeing of their employees. This step by step guide contains all the information and resources you need to develop an evidence-based approach to mental health that works for your business.
This informative toolkit produced by Business in the Community, Public Health England and supported by the Samaritans provides support and advice for employers on how to incorporate suicide prevention into their workplace health and wellbeing framework. It supports employers to identify members of staff who may have suicidal feelings, and gives practical advice on dealing with crisis situations.
No one expects to have to deal with a suicide, but in 2019 unfortunately over 5,300 people in England took their own lives. Death by suicide can have a profound effect on a business and its employees. This toolkit produced by Business in the Community, Public Health England and the Samaritans offers practical advice to support employers in their response to the suicide of an employee.
Fully funded mental health first aid training is available to Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent based businesses. Programmes are available in January - March 2021, with limited spaces.
#TalkSuicide is a suicide prevention campaign that aims to bring individuals, organisations and businesses together to help prevent suicide in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
Suicide prevention training is available for free. Watch the interactive online training, and in 20 minutes you can gain the skills to save a life.
- Mental Health Awareness Training (delivered by Staffordshire County Council)
The Health, Safety and Wellbeing Service at Staffordshire County Council currently offer two half day mental health awareness training sessions:
- adult mental health aware training
- youth mental health aware training (for adults, but for an awareness of youth mental health)
Currently, the training is only delivered online (maximum 9 delegates per session). The cost is £450 per session.
For more information about the training, please email: WorkplaceHealth@staffordshire.gov.uk
Public Health England is offering free online psychological first aid (PFA) training for frontline or essential workers and volunteers dealing with the public during the pandemic. This includes:
- health and social care staff
- first responders
- frontline public-sector staff - e.g. working in housing and employment services
- essential workers - e.g. those working in food delivery, funeral care, sanitation, community leaders and groups, volunteers, supervisors and managers supporting staff or volunteers
The free online course supports people to develop their skills and confidence in providing key psychological support to people affected by coronavirus, including on issues such as job worries, bereavement or isolation as they carry out their vital work as part of the ongoing coronavirus response.
The course takes approximately 90 minutes to complete and there are three parts, which can be done in intervals or all in one go.
Campaigns, websites and apps:
This website gives you loads of tips and ideas on how to improve mental health at work. It covers ideas for how your staff can be encouraged to take care of themselves e.g. reclaiming their lunch break, creating clear boundaries between home and work, and it has information on ‘five ways to wellbeing’. It also has lots of free resources to help you to 'take care of your staff's mental health'.
This website has loads of resources, including guides, tips, videos and templates to help you get to grips with workplace mental health.
This website provides information on a range of topics related to stress, such as signs of stress and burnout and the causes of stress. You can also get a free your mind plan to help you deal with stress and anxiety, improve your sleep, boost your mood and feel more in control.
Find out more about a range of issues related to mental health, such as information on anxiety and stress, and how to help someone with depression. There’s even a mood self-assessment quiz, which helps individuals to assess whether they are feeling anxious or depressed, and offers further reading and resources to help them to understand how they feel.
Get your workplace involved in the Mental Health Foundation’s mental health awareness week, which is taking place from 10 to 16 May 2021. This year’s theme is ‘nature and the environment'.
On 10 October every year, it is the World Federation for Mental Health’s world mental health day. Why not get your workplace involved in this great awareness raising event by promoting the day through your social media channels, or run an activity or event? There are loads of resources to get you started. Time to Change have also produced a workplace activity pack for even more ideas and resources to promote the day.
On 10 September every year, it is world suicide prevention day. The day aims to raise awareness of how to prevent suicide.
There are an increasing number of health and wellbeing apps available. We are making it easier for you and your employees to find apps that can help you to stay healthy and well with our health and wellbeing app finder tool. This includes the top rated apps for mental health and wellbeing.
Staffordshire Connects is our easy to use directory. It provides details about hundreds of different care, support and wellbeing organisations, local activities, clubs and community groups taking place across Staffordshire.
You can find a range of local mental wellbeing support services within the 'Adults and Communities' section, under 'Health and Wellness'.
This gives advice on how to nurture your mental health and wellbeing. It also contains a directory of local and national services that can provide additional support for those that may need it.
People in Staffordshire are being encouraged to speak openly and honestly about death and dying, in an effort to break the stigma and ensure their final wishes are known.
Nearly 80% of people don’t have any written plans for their end of life care, financial wishes or funeral plans. The Staffordshire Health and Wellbeing Board have teamed up with national charity Dying Matters to give clear and trusted advice, through a campaign called Dying Matters Staffordshire. This links in with Dying Matters Awareness Week, which this year is taking place on the 10 - 16 May.
The campaign website has lots of information on how to broach the subject. There’s also information for workplaces, such as things to consider when working with a bereaved colleague.
National support services:
This confidential service, delivered by Remploy, is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions. It is available at no charge to any employees with depression, anxiety, stress, or other mental health issues affecting their work.
Debt is an issue that can trigger anxiety and depression. Staffordshire’s 'Entitled To' benefits checker is a free online calculator that enables people to find out what benefits they may be entitled to. It takes around 10 minutes to complete and all details provided are anonymous.
Get in touch
Let us know what you’re doing in your workplace around mental health by emailing Workplace Health.