Mental Health – Why Charity Needs To Start At Work

It may surprise some of us to know that mental health problems are the leading cause of sickness in the workplace.

An estimated one in three employees has experienced some form of mental health issue relating to work.

This means that the onus on employers to provide the appropriate support for their staff is more important now than ever before.

If you’re in charge of a team, here are a few easy ways to take a more assertive approach to mental wellbeing.

Talk openly

If you think that members of your team might be struggling, or indeed you are aware that they are, then the stigma of that could be just as damaging as the condition they may be suffering from.

Encourage those in your team to be open about any mental health problems or concerns by giving them the opportunity to talk to you about their struggles.

This support may give them the confidence to share their problem with other colleagues, which in turn can create a much more positive workplace culture.

Have an action plan in place

Putting in place support and back to work plans can increase the chances of your employees managing their mental health conditions within the work space, helping their ability to continue working and in some cases being able to successfully return to work after a period of time off work.

Action plans can be as simple as offering your staff access to a confidential occupational health helpline when they need to talk to someone or offering flexible working hours for a colleague who wishes to attend a support group.

A more tailored plan could be created to integrate an employee back into the team after a long spell of absence which could see them building back up their hours and responsibilities over time.

Promote wellbeing

The office environment is often stressful by default in many industries.

Sometimes it can be difficult as an employer to find time to promote wellbeing but a few small ideas can make a big difference.

Provide free fruit for the team for example, encourage screen breaks and have a no desk lunch rule to ensure adequate breaks are taken.

Some firms take these ideas a little further and will have a qualified physiotherapist come to the work place once a month to offer neck and shoulder massages or an occupational health expert to come in and talk to the team.


There are lots of resources available online from charities such as Mind and Time to Change.

These give access to a wealth of knowledge and advice for best supporting the mental wellbeing of your employees in the workplace.

author: Stephen Coleclough

Stephen Coleclough is a leading international and domestic tax consultant who specialises in solving complex problems. As well as advising on tax matters, Stephen also enjoys exploring topics relating to physical and mental wellbeing. You can follow him on Twitter at SColeclough.


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