Promoting Mental Health in the Workplace

Step 1: Understand mental health

An employer that understands mental health is better able to support and encourage staff to be more open about their mental health. To fully understand mental health, an employer should:

  • Recognise what mental health is and what mental ill health actually means.
  • Identify the causes of mental ill health in the workplace.
  • Recognise the stigma associated with mental ill health and consider how this can be removed from its workplace.
  • Know its legal obligations to staff.

What is mental health?

Mental health is the mental and emotional state in which we feel able to cope with the normal pressures of everyday life. Positive mental health is rarely an absolute state. Factors both in and out of work affect the mental health of staff and move them up or down a spectrum that ranges from good to poor. For example, an employee may generally have positive mental health but a relationship break up may trigger a period of depression moving them into poor mental health. Alternatively, an employee with a mental health condition, such as depression, may have developed coping strategies that Promoting positive mental health in the workplace are working well and mean they move into having positive mental health.

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