Speaking on Mental Health and Well-Being

Mental health problems affect one in four people. That’s 1.9 billion people around the world struggling with issues affecting their mental wellness. The chances are, there are people within your organisation who are struggling right now. They might be facing feelings of stress, anxiety or depression, a lack of motivation or confidence, or they might be trying to recover from a behavioural or substance addiction. 

But because psychological struggles are hidden deep beneath the surface, and because people rarely talk about their mental wellness openly and honestly, it can be difficult to give people the support they need to overcome these issues. 

Through motivational mental health and well-being talks, we can help your whole workforce become inspired to make mindset and lifestyle changes to improve their mental wellness and overall wellbeing. When it comes to wellbeing, there’s always room for improvement. So our talks aren’t just relevant to those experiencing mental health difficulties — we get everyone thinking and reflecting on their mental wellness. 

We teach people that it’s okay to talk about mental health and we spark deep, honest and impactful conversations between colleagues, boosting employee morale and helping you create a happier, more connected workforce. By raising awareness about mental health and addiction, we work with you to create a workplace and company culture that supports employees’ mental wellbeing.

Boost Employees’ Performance and Productivity with Motivating Mental Health Talks

As well as motivating your employees and helping them find freedom from mental health issues, our talks also have a range of benefits for your business.

People perform better at work when they’re not struggling with mental health problems — they’re more productive, resilient and they have improved mental clarity. They can get more done and to a higher standard, and they’re able to respond to challenges with a positive, go-getting mindset.

Plus, with a supportive company culture that promotes health and happiness, employees will not only feel better in themselves, but they’ll also feel more satisfied at work. As a result, you can benefit from improved retention and decreased employee absenteeism, saving your business costs on sick pay, cover and recruitment. And because happiness is contagious, employees who find joy in their work will plant a smile on the faces of other colleagues and customers.

If you feel that mental health is something your organisation should be more focussed on, we’ve put together some tips on how to speak to your staff about mental health issues.

Practical Tips:

How to Talk with Employees about Mental Health Problems With stress, depression and other forms of mental ill-health, the most difficult part is often to start the conversation with the affected employee.

Managers should explore with any employee reporting a mental health issue how to address any difficulties which are work-related, which might in turn help them to cope with any problems in other areas of their lives. Managers should encourage employees to see their GP as a first step and ensure they are aware of any support available either from their employer, for example talking to mental health first aiders within the organisation, contacting the HR department, using a confidential employee assistance helpline, or from other sources, such as Mind’s telephone helplines or Saneline. Discussing relevant Mind information with the employee can also help. Employers need to communicate clearly through policies on stress management or mental health that people with issues will be supported and outline what help is available, as well as being clear with employees about relevant ill health and capability procedures.

Responding to Disclosure

If you suspect a member of your team is experiencing poor mental health, or they disclose it to you, it’s essential you have a conversation with them about their needs. This will help you to evaluate and introduce appropriate support or adjustments.

To manage mental health at work effectively, you’ll need good people management skills, as well as empathy and common sense. You should try to ensure you are seen as approachable, and listen when staff ask for help. You should also consider whether or not the workplace culture encourages disclosure or not.

Choose an Appropriate Place 

  • It’s important to make people feel comfortable; therefore, it’s good to have the conversation somewhere private and quiet.  
  • Sometimes a neutral space outside the workplace will help the person to feel equal and at ease.
  • If the individual is a remote worker, consider whether going to them might help.

Be Honest and Clear

  • It’s important to recognise that an employee’s performance or behaviour can be affected if they are experiencing a mental health problem. If you have specific grounds for concern, such as high absence levels or impaired performance, it’s important to address these at an early stage.
  • The support people receive from their manager is key in determining how well and how quickly they are able to get back to peak performance.

Avoid Making Assumptions

  • It can be difficult for people to disclose information relating to their mental health, so make it easier by keeping an open mind and giving them space to talk it out.
  • Avoid trying to guess what symptoms an employee might have and how these might affect their ability to do their job. 
  • Remember, many people are able to manage their condition and perform their role to a high standard. 

Embed Confidentiality 

  • People can understandably be anxious about disclosing, so be prepared to assume responsibility for some confidential and sensitive information.
  • Create strict policies about who is made aware of disclosures; as a rule, it should involve as few people as possible.
  • Reassure the individual that any private information they disclose will not be leaked to their colleagues. 
  • Discuss with the individual any information they would like shared with team colleagues and how, as this can be very supportive for some people.

Encourage People to Talk 

  • It’s important to have an open dialogue with employees when discussing their mental health.
  • Remember, everyone’s experience of poor mental health is different, and how you deal with a disclosure should be entirely dependent on the individual.
  • Ask how the condition manifests itself, what the implications are and what support they need. 

Respond Flexibly 

  • Mental distress affects people in different ways and at different times in their lives, so be prepared to adapt your support to suit the individual.

Reassure People

  • People may not always be ready to talk straight away, so it’s important that you outline what support is available.
  • Reassure the individual that your door is always open and they can speak to you as their line manager at any time. 
  • Let them know you’ll ensure they get the support they need.

Seek Advice If You Need To

  • If you’re still unsure, the person lacks insight or an issue is particularly complex, seek advice from expert organisations such as the CIPD, Mind, Centre for Mental Health, Mindful Employer, or your local Mind group or GP – encourage your employee to do so too.
  • If available, employee assistance programmes can also help line managers and employees.
  • Where workplace relationships are strained or confrontational, consider using workplace mediation to help resolve issues. 
  • Larger employers may find involving occupational health colleagues useful, as they can support both employees and managers to negotiate issues around disclosure. 
  • Remember that once aware of health or disability information, the employer also has a legal duty to consider making reasonable adjustments as well as a general duty of care and responsibility for employee health and preventing personal injury.

Contact details

CIPD: https://www.cipd.co.uk/
Mind: https://www.mind.org.uk/
Saneline: dial 0300 304 7000
Samaritans: dial 116 123

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