Government report reveals how your workplace should treat mental health issues

woman being comforted by colleague, mental ill health

The government have released their report into mental health in the workplace.

The report implements six mental health standards that all organisations should be doing, or can start to do. Theresa May commissioned the document back in January, explaining that  “the UK is facing a mental health challenge at work that is much larger than we had thought.”

May’s report also estimates that 15 per cent of all people at work have symptoms of a pre-existing mental health condition.

In order to dissolve the financial and personal problems around mental health issues at work, the report has made 40 recommendations to employers.

It also contains long term goals for private companies with more than 400 employees to deliver. These include making the organisation’s approach to mental health more obvious inside and outside of the organisation, and nominating a senior leader to be in charge of employee health and wellbeing.

The report also encourages employees to be open about their wellbeing concerns, and have in-house mental health support readily available to them, whether it’s online, or through NHS services.

Below are the six core health standards that the government have issued to all workplaces:

One: Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan

The report outlines that every single employer, regardless of the size of the company, should have a plan in place to promote good mental health of all it’s employees.

Two: Develop mental health awareness among employees

Every workplace must provide information, tools and support about mental health, so that you and your manager will know where to go for support at work.

Three: Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling

As early as the recruitment process, there should be conversations about mental health and the support available, with regular check-in’s once the job has been given to you.

Four: Provide employees with good working conditions

The report states it’s up to employers to make sure staff have a healthy work-life balance, good office conditions, space and a regular lunch break.

Adjustments to the workplace should also be offered to anyone suffering with a mental health condition.

Five: Promote effective people management

Line managers and supervisors should create a dialogue in the office about health and well-being, so that they can tackle any issues early on.

The report also recommends that line managers should receive training from the people higher up than them in effective management practices.

Six: Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing

Companies must learn the existing data around mental health in the workplace, and take the time to understand how it affects different employees.

They should talk to employees, conduct surveys and take into consideration any risk factors which could result in the deterioration of a person’s mental health.

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