In 2017, the UK government commissioned The Stevenson/ Farmer review of mental health and employers to look into ways the workplace influenced mental health. What they found was that nearly 300,000 people lost their job every year because of a mental health issue. And that’s across all industries and all sectors. Although there was an inclination that this was a growing problem, the government was not aware of the overwhelming impact of mental health in the workplace. And the glaring question hanging over everyone’s head was why weren’t more businesses equipped to nurture positive mental health amongst their employees?
In the UK, 99% of businesses are small and medium-sized. That means a large percentage of organisations don’t have the resources to build a program for positive mental health on their own. And this rings even more true for the charity sector, in which many organisations are so small that they have one person doing the job of several just to keep costs down. That means busier days, more stress and plenty of pressure to get things done quickly and to a high standard.
That’s why organisations like Mind are working hard to encourage an open conversation around mental health in the workplace. Working with the Federation of Small Businesses and people in smaller workplaces across the UK, Mind has created some free and simple-to-use online training materials to help build staff confidence in thinking and talking about mental health.
Not sure if the Mental Health for Small Workplaces initiative is right for you? Let’s take a closer look.
Why is it important to talk about mental health?
Every week, nearly 6.5 million people in the UK suffer from a mental health problem such as anxiety or depression. In a small office, your people are your most valuable asset. They rely on one another to keep things running smoothly and to really drive your cause forward. So when one starts to crack under the pressures of deadlines and other office stressors, it can be a domino effect that knocks from one employee to the next. That’s why paying attention to your employee’s mental health is so important.
Did you know that 23% of employees working in small organisations feel comfortable disclosing poor mental health? That’s because smaller businesses and charities are less rigid and bureaucratic than their larger counterparts. The environment is more close-knit, so when someone is feeling overwhelmed, they’re more likely to speak up.
In other words, talking about mental health is easier than you might think.
What is the Mental Health for Small Workplaces initiative?
Following the successful launch of the Heads Together campaign, an initiative funded by the Royal Foundation in collaboration with eight mental health charities, a decision was made to focus on key areas where mental health could be improved for the benefit of the UK. From this, a growing concern arose about the impact the workplace had on mental health. As so the Mental Health for Small Workplaces initiative was born.
Mental Health for Small Workplaces is aimed at organisations of 250 employees or less. Smaller businesses face different challenges when it comes to the mental health of their employees and are often more limited in terms of what initiatives they can put time and budget into. That’s why online programs such as this are so important. The content is not only created by experts, but it’s designed to save small businesses time, money and effort. And it was created with the audience in mind.
If you’re a larger charity or organisation looking to put positive mental health practices in place, check out Mind’s other e-learning and training products that may be relevant to your employees.
The Mental Health for Small Workplaces toolkit
Looking to implement company-wide practices and regulations that promote positive mental health? Mind’s got you covered.
The Mental Health for Small Workplaces program is made of up of three modules:
- Building your awareness
- Looking after yourself
- Supporting each other
It’s free, quick online training that will build your staff’s confidence in thinking and talking about mental health. Each module takes about 20 minutes to complete. Each subject is explored through text, illustrations, interactive activities, videos from real employees and practical tips you can use straight away. If you’re an employer or manager, there is also a free PDF guide full of tips and advice on how to deploy Mental Health for Small Workplaces in your organisation.
Ready to start changing the way your organisation promotes positive mental health? Get started today at with the Mental Health for Small Workplaces toolkit.