Mental Health Policy
Introduction to Mental Health in the Workplace
Implementing a mental health policy in the workplace is a measure to protect employees’ mental well-being within the working environment. In the UK 1 in 4 people suffer from mental health issues each year.
Poor mental health has serious implications for how a person interacts at work, their level of output, and their communication with colleagues and clients.
This blog post provides businesses with a free mental health policy and demonstrates that employers supporting employee’s mental health will see greater results and employee retention. Also discusses the importance of a mental health policy, statistics on mental health, why and how to implement a mental health policy, and share best practices.
Statistics of mental health in the workplace
Each year in the UK it is estimated that 15.4 million working days are lost, due to employees suffering from high levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. Costing UK employers £34.9 billion each year.
Research has shown employees suffering from mental health issues, 60% of them feel uncomfortable or unable to communicate this with employers.
Those experiencing mental health struggles in the workplace amount to 14.7% of the UK workforce, so 1 in 6.8 people. Research highlights that 12.7% of UK employees’ sickness absence is recognised as a mental health related absence.
The importance of a Mental Health Policy
Similar to any policy, it sets clear expectations from the employer and employee, on how the business will support mental health in the workplace. The policy may also include how employees should support each other, promote positive mental health, and communicate any struggles.
Businesses addressing the issue and removing the stigma is key to developing a supportive working environment.
Large UK companies implementing mental health programs include Deloitte, PwC, and Accenture. The programs are aimed to improve support and address any issues head-on. Their policies and programs involve access to stress management and counselling services.
A key aspect of having a mental policy is to create a supportive environment where employees feel valued.
Putting mental health support at the forefront reduces absenteeism, increases employee engagement, and boosts productivity. This will have a positive impact on how the business performs and operates.
How to Incorporate a Mental Health Policy into Your Employee Handbook
As mental health policy is an additional policy that has benefits to the employee handbook, you will not need to consult with employees. Communicating to employees why the business is implementing the policy and where the employee can read the policy, is required.
We recommend a yearly review of employee handbooks, reviewing and updating the policy to ensure relevancy. Society is changing and developing constantly, so best practices and measures will develop.
Employers should be detailing managers’ role in supporting and promoting mental health in the workplace. Mental health training can go a long way in helping managers to understand how to spot signs of poor mental health and stress impacting an employee.
Best Practices for Promoting Mental Health in the Workplace
Developing a mental policy is only the first step, encouraging and implementing positive mental health strategies. The company should be aiming to create a company culture that has open communication and support.
Best practices for advocating positive mental health
- Ensuring work-life balance
- Mental health resources and support
- Access to EAP or counselling services
- 1-1 check-in meeting with employees, not focusing solely on workloads
- Promoting health habits, reducing screen time, exercise, and spending time outside
- Flexibility within the working environment i.e., start times or working from home
- Training and building awareness to reduce the stigma
Creating and implementing mental health practices leads to employees feeling more supported, valued, and thriving within the company. This has positive impacts on both the employee and employer.
Download your FREE mental health policy template
Research has illustrated those businesses with programs and incentives for improving employees’ mental health, will see a decrease in employee sickness absence, increased engagement, and productivity, alongside better employee retention.
The statistics highlighted above demonstrate the requirement for a mental health policy in the workplace, furthermore, younger generations put stronger emphasis on supporting their own mental health.
This policy is easy to implement within the employee’s handbook, made even easier with our mental health policy template which is free to download.