Being ready to support a mental health friendly workplace

If you want to develop a mental health friendly workplace then it is your responsibility to help employees to be as ready as they can to face the daily demands of work.

Work through the following tool and see what things you have in place to best support your employee’s mental health that give them every opportunity to be ready.

Reading time: 5 minutes

What will it do?

This tool will help you ensure you have and get the right things in place so you can best support your employee’s mental health to give them every opportunity to be ready.

Three steps to take

Get focused on the things that will make the most impact for you.

Step 1

Check how many of the following statements apply at your place at your work.

  • People know who to talk to when they have a problem (Mental Health First Aiders)
  • Mental health and physical health are treated the same
  • A referral system is in place to help employees find a counsellor or therapist
  • A mental health policy is in place and being used
  • Regular workshops are offered focusing around mental wellbeing, as well as physical
  • Employees are encouraged to take regular breaks
  • Employees are encouraged to talk about how they’re feeling
  • Employees are given opportunities to practice self-care throughout the day
  • Regular feedback is asked for in terms of how employees are coping
  • Mental health is built into regular conversations and check-ins
  • People listen and care about each other’s feelings
  • Leaders role model positive mental health behaviours

Step 2

On that list there will be some things which you are already doing within your workplace. However, there will also be a number of things that you most probably would like to put into action.

From the list what’s going well that you can keep promoting?

From the list choose 2 or 3 things that you would like to start implementing. Ask yourself:

  • How are we going to start implementing it?
  • What support do we need to start implementing it?
  • When does the implementation need to be completed by?

Step 3

To maintain and develop some of these behaviours it is important that you start to put them into action: Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How will I know they are in place and making a difference?
  • What will individuals be doing?
  • What will the company be doing?

Your plan

Get a plan Stan.

The basics you need to have in your plan are set out below. As well as these we’d encourage you to:

  • Think about the people who need to know that you’re using this tool and tell them what you’re doing. That way they can support you and won’t think you’re just being weird.
  • Think about the impact you want from using this tool. Depending on your starting point, how hard you work and how ambitious you are, you might not get that impact straight away. So valuing progress rather than perfection will help build your confidence and keep you going.

Plan basics

  1. What are you going to do? (This bit is easy – it’s probably the 3 things listed above.)

    My actions:

  2. When are you going to do these things? (You don’t have to be great to get going, but you better get going if you want to be great)

    My start date:

  3. How often will you be doing them? (Getting great has a lot to do with making things a habit)

    Check-in frequency and dates:

Get serious

The difference between having a plan and making it work is about action. So get this in your diary now. Tell the people who need to know so that they can support you and won’t just think you’re being weird. Do it now.

Remember, it’s progress not perfection. You’re looking for gradual improvement, not for Rome to be built in a day.