Today is World Mental Health Day, and the Mental Health Foundation is encouraging people to take time for ‘Tea & Talk‘ – an initiative designed to raise awareness of mental health issues, raise money, and encourage people to have conversations with their friends and colleagues about their own mental wellbeing. It aims to tackle the still-present stigma around mental health, that sees many people conceal their problems, out of fear that they will experience discrimination at work and in social settings.

Up to 1 adult in 6 experiences a mental disorder, and it is estimated that a fifth of days taken off work in the UK are due to anxiety or depression. This is a huge problem, and it is predicted to only get worse. Research suggests that by 2030, mental health will be the leading disease burden globally.

It is vitally important therefore, that we have strong tactics to deal with it. In the workplace, this consists of two key strands – awareness and support. Firstly, paying attention and being aware of how employees are feeling, and ensuring that people know that their workplace will not judge or discriminate against people because of their mental health. Supporting conversations and openness around these issues can be a great first step in this.

Secondly, providing appropriate support, and access to services to help employees to deal with mental health problems, whether these are short-term or ongoing conditions. There are plenty of sources out there to help you with this. For example, the charity Mind has excellent free resources to assist organisations in supporting their staff, and helping improve mental wellbeing; and the HSE has a lot of content on work related stress and other mental health issues – these are a really useful starting point. Another important factor can be how your workplace values, and works to improve, employee wellbeing, and we can help you with that. For more information on our consultancy services, including Health and Wellbeing, contact or call 0141 244 0181.