Mental Health in the Work Place

Morning all

As we are aware, Mental Health is becoming more common in people than ever before. I currently work in a business where we have not got a supporting procedure document in place, nethertheless we of course support our staff if arises, however we do not hold any advice or support on this. Nor do we have a Mental Health Advisor in our organisation. However, my colleague and I have been given the approval to gather some ideas together and make this happen.

Anyone else started this from scratch? Any ideas if possible?




Amy :)

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  • The advice you have received in this discussion about mental health awareness and mental health first aiders is excellent

    Have you thought about looking at mental health within the wider context of well-being?

    Mental health issues do not arise in isolation from other health issues and sometimes a mental health issue can be resolved by a phyiscal solution.

    We have recorded improvements in stress levels amongst our team by providing advice on nutrition and changing the types of food that we have available from carh heavy sugary snacks to more healthy options.

    Introducing a programme of lunch time physical activities also helped. Exercise creates the same effect in the brain as anti depressants.

    It cost us very little to do, we may even in the long term save money, but the important thing is that we kept it simple and straight forward.

    We provided education, posters etc and the opportunity for people to put the messages on the posters into action.

    Raising awareness of mental health also got peopel talking about mental health.

    Happy to share more if interested. 

  • Hello

    Just a quick mention of MHFA available in Wales as MHFA England has had a few mentions:

     - St Johns Cymru Wales

     - Training In Mind

    Having helped to manage and support individuals feeling mentally unwell, Colin's point re knowing where your responsibilities end is key. You can understand, provide access to external qualified support and promote activities that help keep individuals mentally healthy as part of a postive workplace culture, as Birute suggested. However, bear in mind that HR's role is not the fix the issue. So don't be afraid of highlighting one piece of advice is reach out to your GP, as an individual would if they were physically not feeling their usual self.

    Good Luck pulling your procedure together!

  • Hi Amy

    From my experience I am a trained Mental Health first aider, and this gives you the understanding and knowledge to do exactly what it says on the tin 'first aid' however we need tools to then be able to sign post our teams to gain the proffesional support they need.

    We work with able futures (funded by DWP) and have also a EAP and promote helpline numbers in our staff rest areas.

    We also have developed a Wellbeing plan around Physical, financial and mental health, where we raise awarness, fund activites and run campaigns

    Awareness of mental health for our Managers is now our priority, as often they are closer to the business, but we need to equip them with the understanding, this next month we will delivering Mental Health awareness training for Managers and Supervisors


    Hope that helps?

  • Hi Amy, 

    As a lot of other people have said, MHFA is a good place to start.

    I don't know what sector you work in, but I work in Retail so we have the Retail Trust which offers advice and support on all kinds of things (such as mental health), so maybe look in to whether you have an equivalent?

  • Hi Amy, 


    I would agree with what others have said regarding Mental Health first aid, it is a really good course to go on and will help you out with a lot more knoweldge on mental health. This is a good place to start and then this means you will have someone in the workplace with this meaning the team can speak to them about anything if they wish to. 

  • Hi Amy, 

    We have also partnered up with MHFA to provide Mental Health First Aid courses to employees to become Mental Health First Aiders. Our employees have a list of all of our Mental Health First Aiders so they can contact any of them around the country so they don't know them and it is all completely confidential. 

    Kind Regards, 

    Hayleigh Redfern

  • Hi Amy


    We have an EAP, occupational health, flexible working, continuous conversations MHFAs and more in place. And yet employees continue to suffer from mental ill health.

    I had a discussion earlier with someone about how employees might prefer to 'self service' solutions. I realise that there are a myriad of apps available, but has any one come across a *good* mental health/wellbeing app (of course, that might be free too)?

  • In my workplace we have EAP, mental health first aiders and also have training sessions with trained professionals to help us understand, not identify mental illness.  I think a mental health advisor or someone trained in that area would be a good start.

  • Hi Amy,


    I recently completed a Mental Health First Aid two-day course with MHFA England to become a Mental Health First Aider. It gives a really great model to follow to identify and act on a mental health problem in the workplace.

    The most important thing I learnt is about how far our responsibility goes. While we can offer first-line support and signpost to others, we aren't qualified to help somebody through a problem long term and may do more harm than good, even with the best intentions.




  • Hi Amy,

    A long reply.... much to say!

    Thanks for sharing your work on this and getting this discussion going. The topic of mental health is something that's close to me. I've had two episodes of severe mental health illnesses in my life, one in my early twenties and one a couple of decades later. How I was supported through those two different episodes varied massively. Recovery from the first occasion in my younger years took years. The lack of support at the time caused some long-lasting impacts. On the second occasion, with a higher level of support, it was a few months.

    It should be a topic that is close to everyone's heart really. According to Mind, the charity which campaigns for better mental health, one in four people will experience a mental health issue each year. This means if individuals are amongst those that have not experienced a mental health issue, the likelihood is that they'll know someone that has. That someone could quite easily be a work colleague.

    A campaign called #InYourCorner that I discovered last year brought it home to me. This particular campaign video focussed on men's mental health, probably on the basis that men can be notoriously bad at talking about this stuff. The message applies in my opinion equally to females. It hit home because it made me realise the duty we all have in spotting the signs that something isn't quite right not just with our friends and family but our work colleagues too. 

    Prevention is most certainly better than cure. I'd highly recommend a watch of this video. I've watched the shorter public available one and signed up free to watch the more detailed 20-minute video too. It's from emotional expert Phil Willcox, who is also a facilitator for us at DPG. He talks about three elements of a simple strategy that I believe are the keys to getting this right in the workplace. You can watch it here.

    I'm really interested to hear how this unfolds for you Amy. The fact that you've been given approval to gather some ideas and make this happen speaks volumes about your organisation and the way they care about the humans around them.

    Great work. Well done and good luck with all this.

    How common are mental health problems? | Mind, the mental health charity - help for mental health p…
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