9 in 10 employees have been affected by mental health challenges either directly or indirectly, according to research from Accenture in 2018. The same research found that 66% have personally experienced mental health problems.
If you’re reading this you may be an employee looking to champion a more proactive, preventative approach to mental health at work. Alternatively, you might be a decision maker considering what mental health training options are available for your company.
Either way, you’re in the right place! And you’re taking the right steps towards improving the mental well-being of your colleagues, just like these companies!
5 companies with a fantastic approach to mental health in the workplace
Social media marketing agency Social Chain this year began offering free ‘opt-out’ mental health therapy for every employee, where employees would be automatically enrolled to attend mental health therapy sessions upon joining the company.
They found that many employees still felt restricted by the stigma of seeing a mental health therapist and feared worrying those close to them.
We believe offering free mental health services, such as the employee assistance programme (EAP), to employees is great and should be encouraged at all companies, but this ‘opt-out’ approach appears to have worked brilliantly for the Manchester-based agency!
With the help of MIND, a leading mental health charity, engineering firm Jacobs helped train over 500 mental health champions within their workforce in the UK alone, helping train more than 1400 worldwide.
Jacobs’ mental health champions are employees within the company who looked to take on mental health training for the benefit of themselves and their colleagues.
Through activities and events focused around mental health, Jacobs’ mental health champions have helped provide early intervention support, interim support and appropriate professional support for employees, helping to cover all manner of mental health challenges for employees.
When an employee is struggling with their own mental health challenges, having the support of not only a trained professional but a colleague could make a huge difference!
Unilever have created a four-pillar Well-Being Framework as part of their mental health strategy to address the physical, mental, emotional and purposeful well-being of their employees.
Where Unilever differ in their approach is they recognise the need for a sense of purpose from employees. 10,000 Unilever employees have taken part in their ‘Purpose Workshop’, designed to help recognise what employees want from their career and to encourage them to take time for ‘deep reflection’.
The need for purpose in an employee’s role at work is often underestimated. After all, where the typical employee spends around 40 hours a week at work, the need for that effort to have meaning is understandably important in a person’s mental well-being.
Monzo do a lot to look after their customers when it comes to mental well-being, including a Vulnerable Customers Team who help customers with any mental health problems regarding money, among other things. They also offer features in their app such as gambling blocks and late-night spending reviews.
For their employees, Monzo have a team of mental health first-aiders trained at the Royal Society of Public Health. Interestingly, they also offer a company-wide discount for the meditation app Headspace which is available to all employees. They also utilise Slack, an internal communication channel for employees, to provide employees a place to share their experiences, resources and any advice in a casual, informal setting.
While some companies have whole mental wellbeing strategies in place, it’s important to pay attention to the little aspects of your role that can affect a person’s wellbeing.
Holiday company Snaptrip have banned all out-of-hours emails for all employees and have a strict policy in place with regards to this.
Being able to ‘switch off’ outside of working hours is incredibly important and often flies under the radar when people think about how work affects an individual’s mental wellbeing. You may not think too much about it, but how often do you think about work outside of your usual working hours? Whether it’s at home in front of the TV or sat on a beach on holiday, it might be more than you think!
Mental Health Training at Work Options
On-site Mental Health Training
Some organisations will come out to your workplace and train your employees in all manner of mental health topics and categories.
These can include:
- Mental health awareness, types of mental illness and removing the stigma
- Recognising the signs and symptoms of mental health problems
- Maintaining support for employees and managing mental health in the workplace
- Changing the workplace and working environment to better support employees with their mental health
The cost and wait time for professionals to come out to visit your business varies dependant on the organisation supporting you, which we’ll look at further on in this article.
There are a number of options when it comes to this and there are some fantastic mental health charities that not only help individuals with their mental health regardless of if they’re employed, but employees and businesses too, and they’re only too happy to help!
Many organisations also offer eLearning opportunities for employees and managers and many small businesses may be eligible for free eLearning courses. Again, this depends on the organisation offering the courses.
These courses typically look to help employees understand their own mental health better and helps teach them how to better support their colleagues, while the courses also look to help better equip managers to encourage mentally healthier workplaces.
Free online material
This option may be overlooked by many as often people tend to think that mental health training in the workplace must be conducted by trained professionals. While this is still important, there are tons of useful free online resources available that could help employees and managers too.
Mind offer a fantastically vast range of resources that provides advice on all manner of mental health topics.
Supporting any professional mental health training in the workplace support with offline material is easy to do and could have more of an impact than you think!
A simple flyer in an office break room could be the starting point for an employee on their journey to improving their mental health.
This is particularly useful for those not sat behind a desk at a computer as part of their job but is important in just about any business.
If you’re an employee at a company, it could be as simple as contacting a mental health charity and asking if they could supply your company with some mental health at work leaflets, flyers or posters, or simply speak to your manager.
Mental Health Charities and Organisations
Thankfully, in the UK, there are a number of mental health charities and organisations that will help either train employees at work or provide resources to help make your place of work a better place in terms of improving mental health.
Here is a list of some of the most popular ones we’ve found.
Whether it’s mental health in the workplace training or simple resources and initiatives to help support good mental health, recommend what you see as suitable from this article to your employers and we’re positive they’ll put them in place!
And if you’d like more information on how we can support you with our mental well-being options like our 24/7, completely confidential employee assistance programme (EAP), get in touch!
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