How to support employee mental health

How to support employee mental health

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What is mental health?


The World Health Organisation's definition of mental health is “where each individual realises their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community”


Why is mental health important right now?

On-going global economic uncertainties continue to create stress and anxiety for employees. The Mental Health Foundation reports that 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace and that evidence suggests 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions


Steps to support your employee's mental health in the workplace

Keep in regular contact with your employees

A good place to start with knowing how your employees are getting on at home or in the office is by organising regular check-ins. These work better as face to face, so can either be conducted via video or in-person.. These are great opportunities to ask your employee questions around their wellbeing and will help to alert you to any signs of poor mental health. You do not need to be a mental health expert, but it helps to know about poor wellbeing and how to handle a disclosure of mental health condition.


Review performance and workload

Whilst some employees are more productive working from home, others may struggle. The stress of isolated working, juggling childcare and work, and increased working hours have caused the lines of home and work to overlap negatively.

From your regular check-ins, you should identify these stresses and recognise that expectations of work may need to be adjusted. This includes adjusting objectives, workloads, and deadlines to make sure they are achievable and can aid productivity.


Promote good wellbeing

Get your senior leadership to set an example of good wellbeing, by sharing how they are looking after their own wellbeing. This will help to encourage other people in your work to take care of their mental health. Inspire independent or group wellbeing activities and share well-being and mental health messages. This will start the conversation around mental health and encourage people to seek help if they need it.


Connect your people

In some cases remote work can cause isolation, but connecting your employees virtually through work-related or informal social meetings can encourage connections and social contact they may have been missing. But make sure that taking part should always be optional as you don’t want to overwhelm your employees and cause extra anxiety, everyone is different.



Some further education and sources around mental health and wellbeing.

The Mental Health Foundation

Managing Mental Health: Introductory module for managers, developed with Unum

Be Mindful Online evidence-based Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy/Stress Reduction course available to individuals and businesses

Time To Change - #timetotalk

Healthy Working Lives NHS resources for supporting health at work.

SeeMe at Work National anti-stigma programme co-delivered by the Mental Health Foundation and SAMH

The Sanctus Mental Health Directory - A comprehensive guide to free and paid services to support mental health.


Direct helplines for support;


Call 116 123​ or Email​ - Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, you can call Samaritans to talk about anything that is upsetting you

Campaign Against Living Miserably -

0800 58 58 58​ or Webchat - Available between 5pm-midnight every day, CALM is leading a campaign against male suicide.

Shout UK -

Text the word 'SHOUT' to 85258 - Available 24/7, SHOUT is a free text-based service for anyone needing support.

Disclaimer: the guidance in this blog is provided for general information purposes and is not in any way legal or professional advice. You should consult a professional or legal advisor regarding employee mental health where appropriate.