Skip to main content


How do we support staff at work with their mental health?

There are a lot of initiatives to support wellbeing at work and it is hard to know what to do for the best, particularly if you are a small company. There are four main areas you can address in your company but it is always sensible to focus on statutory requirements first.

1.Checking in on mental health in your business

Many of the suggestions below are likely to feature in your mental health strategy but action is more important than a document that is not implemented! As employers you have a duty of care for your employees and a requirement to survey their needs. You could address this need by using our quick download tool and sharing the link with your employees or arrange for us to make the tool free at the point of download.

2.Ensuring your culture is mental health supportive

Getting the culture of your workplace right means that employees are more likely to thrive. Good HR policies, effective and compassionate managers make a huge difference to staff wellbeing and retention. When the environment is right, poor mental health is prevented. Encouraging people to take breaks, not to over work, take holidays and look after their health is important and you can provide links to health and wellbeing information. When practices are inclusive to everyone with protected characteristics under the law, people feel valued and can bring their best selves to work. Opportunities to work flexibly including a mix between home and office working can be very helpful. Your wellbeing check-in above also checks that your environment is supportive of wellbeing.

3.Supporting individuals who are at risk of struggles

Feeling like you belong and having people to talk to is a great way of feeling better about life even when it is tough. Opportunities for social life at work, shared lunches, walks and exercise, talks on topics such as menopause, getting to know each other in shared journeys for work builds bonds and relationships. Atrium clinic also offers some bitesize training on mental health topics should you need them. Some companies invest in Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) training but this is not necessary if you are watching your budget and is less important than getting the culture right and building the relationships which are supportive. Better to train managers in mental health awareness so they can recognise the signs of distress than invest in one or two people who are likely to be underutilised and benefit more in their own mental health than others in the business, according to research evidence. Another important element is having a pathway and signposting to further help. You could have an employee assistance programme (EAPs) where employees can call a phone number and get support or advice and that includes counselling. Most EAPs rely on wellbeing platforms and resources to support employees and some are interactive. Equally you could save your EAP subscription and enable your employees to download from the many mental health apps available to them and claim it back from the company. There are also neurodivergence apps that can be helpful in the workplace.

4. When someone is tipped into clinical mental health illness

If a person is struggling with everyday functioning they should be assessed by a professional. If they are not likely to make the call to the GP themselves, help them to make it when you are  worried about them. Sit with them whilst they do it. If a person is at risk or deteriorating quickly or has lost touch with reality, you need to support them into more urgent help. If it is life threatening take them to A and E if they can travel safely or call an ambulance. If they are safe, stay with them and call 111, option 2 mental health support. Support the person or access their family support with their consent until help arrives.

In other instances when staff are struggling with life events, cumulative struggles, low mood and common mental health issues, contact professional clinicians with mental health and therapy credentials. Typically 4-6 sessions of professional help can improve functioning quickly depending on the initial severity of illness. Don’t delay as the prospects of recovery increase hugely when clients present early to professional services. When workplaces support employees into professional services quickly, days lost to sickness decrease. A barrier to help lies in the waiting list for NHS talking therapy services but it may be advantageous to pay a private agency which can move faster to provide the help required. This is the point when it pays an organisation to invest in professional help, in our view. If in a company of 15 people , you had an EAP, you might spend £1000 a year. If you can expect one or two staff a year to need professional help , you can respond to their needs for around £800.00 and know they have the highest standard of professional input typically unmatched by staff working in a standard EAP. It’s a myth to say mental health support in the workplace costs a lot. Be a wise spender of the mental health budget and focus on the priorities to keep your people happily focused at work.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu

Get in Touch

Atrium Clinic
642 London Road

Telephone: 01702-332857

Get in Touch