Playing your part in a mental health friendly workplace


Mental Health First Aid for England have trained over 400,000 people in the UK about mental health over the last 10 years. With many other organisations supporting great work in mental health awareness raising, we’re at a point where expectations have changed about the role of Mental Health at Work.

Given the importance that is rightly being placed on mental health right now, every organisation will soon understand the benefits of ensuring everyone at work knows they’re in a place where proactive support of mental health is present.

For many organisations, there’s still many questions around how to move from their current position to a truly mental health friendly workplace.

Reading time: 3 minutes

What goes on

It’s been heartening to see the rapid rise in everybody’s willingness to change the conversations about Mental Health at work. Mental Health Awareness week in the UK is creating more and more opportunities for businesses to introduce important initiatives that are changing the relationship between employees and businesses for good. We’re now seeing more businesses wanting to create ongoing action to support Mental Health, instead of simply raising awareness.

Five performance truths

  1. The modern world of work is a challenging one in many ways, so it’s inevitable that this kind of environment will impact upon the mental health of the people who spend a lot of time within it.
  2. The historic approach of helping people recover after their mental health has been compromised is no longer an acceptable way of approach for this area.
  3. Mental Health problems affect anyone in any organisation from C-Suite to the youngest member of the business. Focusing on Mental Health in your business is going to have a positive impact for everyone, whatever their status and whatever their current level of Mental Health.
  4. Putting in place support mechanisms that are easy to access and quick to respond, is a powerful way of reducing some of the overall organisational stress people feel.
  5. According to MHFA for England, mental health issues account for almost 70 million days off sick per year. Making your business a Mental Health friendly work place will ensure you’re playing your part in changing these statistics and doing good for everyone.

Three things to do

  1. Go to HR and find out what the current state of play is in your organisation for the amount of sick days being lost to mental health related conditions and look at what the trends have been over the last few years.
  2. Start having some conversations with colleagues at work and find out about what mental health initiatives are in place in the businesses of their friends and family.
  3. Look in the calendar and work out what national initiatives are taking place in the months ahead that your business is going to be able to benefit from and get some planning started for what you’re going to be doing.