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 is a leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, after minor illnesses and musculoskeletal problems. More than 17 million absence days attributed to stress, anxiety and depression in 2015 (Office for National Statistics).
- Mental health also accounts for a significant percentage of presenteeism (attending work while sick).
- Length of absence from work is 7.5 times longer for mental health problems than it is for physical illness.
For more statistics on mental health at work, please see the infographic below:
Resources to support your employees with their mental health and wellbeing
Take a look at these useful toolkits, websites, campaigns and tips 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 2015 unfortunately almost 5,000 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.
This website gives 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 the ‘Five ways to wellbeing’. It also has loads of free resources to help you to 'take care of your staff's mental health'.
This website provides information on a range of topics related to stress, such as how stress affects your body, your mind and your sleep.
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 on the 13th – 19th May 2019. This year’s theme is ‘Body Image'.
On the 10 October 2019, it’s 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 World Mental Health Day resources to get you started, and Time to Change have also produced a communications campaign pack for employers for even more ideas and resources to promote the day.
On 10 September 2019, it’s World Suicide Prevention Day. The day aims to raise awareness of how to prevent suicide. It can be difficult to start a conversation about suicide, but Mates in Mind have developed a really useful World Suicide Day Resource Pack to help.
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, so the Staffordshire Health and Wellbeing Board have teamed up with national charity Dying Matters to give clear and trusted advice, through a new campaign called ‘Dying Matters Staffordshire’.
The campaign website has loads 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.
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.
The Health and Wellbeing Planner that is found on Staffordshire Connects is an excellent tool that your employees can use to find local (Staffordshire) and national advice, information and support. It covers a range of health and wellbeing related issues, such as alcohol, healthy eating, mental health, physical activity and stopping smoking.
They can use the Health and Wellbeing Planner to help them make some positive, healthy changes to their lives, by identifying what they want to achieve, what they can do differently to achieve their goal, and understanding what advice and support will help them along the way.
Get in touch
Let us know what you’re doing in your workplace around mental health by emailing Workplace Health