Why organisations need to take the lead on mental health

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Health Assured team

21 December 2023

It has never been more important for organisations to prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of their employees. At any moment, one in six people in the UK and Ireland are suffering at work with symptoms of a mental health condition. One in six people. The consequences of poor mental health awareness at work mean countless more people could be struggling in silence.

The best employers take a proactive approach to their employee’s wellbeing. They understand a simple truth – happier teams are more productive, enthusiastic, and loyal.

As more resources, tools, advice, and recommendations become available, the opportunity and incentive to take action has never been greater. But where do you start? And how can you tell what will make a genuine long-term positive impact on your people’s wellbeing?

What is mental health?

We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. Both change throughout our lives, and like our bodies, our minds can become unwell. The World Health Organisation describes mental health as ‘a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community’.

There is still a stigma and misunderstanding about mental health in society and in the working environment. Increasing awareness of mental health can help break the taboo and start to build a more open and inclusive culture. Managers need to feel confident and competent to have sensitive conversations with staff about sensitive issues like mental health and signpost to specialist support services if necessary.

Supporting mental health at work

Employers should promote good mental health as well as provide support when a challenge emerges. The Mental Health at Work Commitment provides a framework to help organisations put in place the key actions needed to support better mental health outcomes. The framework builds on the Thriving at Work standards using the most up-to-date research from UK employers and mental health experts.


The 6 Mental Health Commitments

  1. Prioritise mental health in the workplace by developing and delivering a systematic programme of activity - this can be achieved through implementing an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) from Health Assured.
  2. Proactively ensure work design and organisational culture drive positive mental health outcomes.
  3. Promote an open culture around mental health – run wellbeing sessions and create spaces for your people to talk freely.
  4. Increase organisational confidence and capability
  5. Provide mental health tools and support
  6. Increase transparency and accountability through internal and external reporting.


Better health and wellbeing with Health Assured

We want to build a community that feels healthy, happy, and productive. Balancing the pressures of work and home life can be challenging for all of us at times. A family break-up. Financial struggles. Dealing with anxiety and depression.

Many factors can affect your employees’ mental health and wellbeing, and while some things they can manage, there may come a time when they need support to overcome those challenges – be they emotional, physical, or financial.

Our Employee Assistance Programme provides guidance and supports your employees with their mental health. We can help you create a safe, productive workspace that supports all.

We support employees mental wellbeing with any problems they might be facing in their professional or personal lives with our 24-hour counselling helpline.


Find out more about EAPs



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Mindful Employer
Stonewall Diversity Champion
Disability Confident Employer
bacp Accredited Service
International EAP Association
National Suicide Prevention Alliance
The Workplace Wellbeing Charter
Mental Health at Work
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Employers Initiative on Domestic Abuse
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helplines partnership