To mark World Mental Health Day 2017, we’ve put together a roundup of 5 key resources available (plus our own stress blog) to help you manage workplace mental health.

The World Health Organisation comments that “workplaces that promote mental health and support people with mental disorders are more likely to reduce absenteeism, increase productivity and benefit from associated economic gains.”

 

  1. World Health Organisation (WHO) Information Sheet

The WHO identifies 5 key interventions and good practices that protect and promote mental health in the workplace:

  • implementation and enforcement of health and safety policies and practices, including identification of distress, harmful use of psychoactive substances and illness and providing resources to manage them;
  • informing staff that support is available;
  • involving employees in decision-making, conveying a feeling of control and participation; organizational practices that support a healthy work-life balance;
  • programmes for career development of employees; and
  • recognizing and rewarding the contribution of employees.

 what is and is not a mental health condition

  1. Mind

Mind has produced a range of valuable free resources on workplace mental health including;

An introduction to mentally healthy workplaces helps you to understand the relationship between good employee mental health and getting the best out of your staff.

How to support staff who are experiencing a mental health problem details how organisations can support staff at every stage of the mental health spectrum.

How to promote wellbeing and tackle the causes of work-related mental health problems’ sets out simple, practical and inexpensive steps that line managers and HR teams can take.

How to take stock of mental health in your workplace’, provides practical advice on how to collect vital information about your employees’ wellbeing in a joined-up and comprehensive way.

Mind’s expert panel’s answers to the most commonly asked questions from line managers about supporting employees with a mental health problem.

 

  1. ACAS

This guide aims to give managers more confidence in dealing with mental health problems in the workplace.

“Mental ill health can range from feeling ‘a bit down’ to common disorders such as anxiety and depression and, in limited cases, to severe mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia … Some illnesses are persistent and may be classed as a disability.”

 

  1. Personnel Today

An article from Personnel Today, The law and mental health in the workplace, from Kenny Scott, a senior associate at Shoosmiths, offers guidance outlining the legal pitfalls for employers dealing with mental health in the workplace.

Recent case law shows that employers are falling to understand their responsibilities. “The term “mental health” itself is not a legal definition but refers to a continuum that includes emotional well-being, mental health conditions and mental illnesses. In some cases, employers will be legally obliged to take certain steps if the legal definition of disability is met.”

 

  1. Health and Safety Executive CMHPs

The HSE offers guidance on Common Mental Health problems.

“Stress is a reaction to events or experiences in someone’s home life, work life or a combination of both. CMHPs can have a single cause outside work, for example bereavement, divorce, postnatal depression, a medical condition or a family history of the problem. But people can have CMHPs with no obvious causes.”

“Employers can help manage and prevent stress by improving conditions at work. But you also have a role in making adjustments and helping someone manage a mental health problem at work.

 

Our own Health in Action blog – Workplace stress myths you should break

How much of what you know about workplace stress is fact and how much is fiction. Stress awareness training gives managers the confidence and tools to manage employees facing stress related conditions.

 

The World Health Organisation sums up why workplace mental health is such a key issue.

“During our adult lives, a large proportion of our time is spent at work. Our experience in the workplace is one of the factors determining our overall wellbeing.

Employers and managers who put in place workplace initiatives to promote mental health and to support employees who have mental disorders see gains not only in the health of their employees but also in their productivity at work.

A negative working environment, on the other hand, may lead to physical and mental health problems, harmful use of substances or alcohol, absenteeism and lost productivity.”