MANAGING MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACEWhat is mental health and why does it matter?Poor mental health is one of the biggest issues in the workplace today,causing over 70 million working days to be lost each year1. This includeseverything from the most commonly experienced symptoms of stressand anxiety, right through to more complex mental health conditions,such as depression, bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.As well as having a huge impact on individual employees, poor mentalhealth has severe repercussions for employers – including increasedstaff turnover, sickness absence due to debilitating depression, burnoutand exhaustion, decreased motivation and lost productivity. Butwhile companies of all shapes and sizes increasingly understand theimportance of good mental health, many simply don’t feel confidenthandling and communicating these issues in the workplace.This module looks at how to encourage good mental health – bysafeguarding staff wellbeing, addressing problems before they becomesevere, and supporting staff when issues do emerge. This is not aboutbecoming an expert in mental health; it’s about spotting the signsthat something might be wrong. It will signpost the right support andresources, and offer suggestions for putting strategies in place tosupport good mental health. All this will help empower managers to dothe same.By the end of this module you will: Understand why good mental health matters in the workplace now the role that you and your managers can play in spotting andKhandling mental health issues at workB e aware of medium to long-term actions for improving mental health inthe workplace and how to build awareness of them.-2-MODULE 7

MANAGING MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACEFast factsMENTAL HEALTH IN THE UK:The big pictureTODAY9 out of 10people with mental healthproblems experiencestigma and discriminationTHE GENDER DIVIDE37%At leastWomen arebetween 20 and40% more likelythan men todevelop a mentalhealth problemof men are feeling worriedor low. Yet their wives,partners, other relativesand friends may have noidea there’s a problem1 in 4people will experience some kind ofmental health problem each yearSince 1981, the proportion ofmale to female suicides hasincreased steadily withAnxiety and depression isthe most commonmental problem4 in 5THE COST TO UK BUSINESSES1 in 5people take a day offwork due to stress24%70 millionworking days are lost each year due tomental ill health, costing Britainannually 70-100bn.Presenteeism canArounddouble the cost. 1 in every 8 spentcosting the UKan estimated 8.1bnAROUND THE COUNTRYLess than half of employeessaid they would feel able to talkopenly with their line manager ifthey were suffering from stressThe UK has thefourth highest rateof antidepressantprescriptions inEurope atIn the last 6 years the number ofworking days lost to stress,depression and anxiety hasincreased bysuicidesbeing maleHalf of women with perinatalmental health problems are notidentified or treated50 mper yearA quarter of people considerresigning due to stressPrevalence of mentalillness in NorthernIreland is 25% higherthan in EnglandIn a survey of UK adults,56%Aberystwyth andCoventry wererated as havingthe least happyemployeeswould nothire someone withdepressionsaid theyeven if they were the bestcandidate for the jobIn Scotland, nearly 1 in 10adults had two or moresymptoms of depressionor anxiety in 2012/3The North East has thehighest suicide rate inEngland while Londonhad the lowestPeople in Liverpoolwere rated as the mostanxious with an anxietyscore of nearly 30%Wolverhampton werelowest at around 10%on long-term physical conditions is linkedto poor mental health and wellbeingSources: NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care NICE Common mental health disorders Time to Change Mind The King’s Fund & Centre for Mental Health 2014 CMO annual report: public mental health Business in the Community 2014 Daniel Freeman – Oxford University Office for National Statistics NHS figures 2014 Conference Genie Health and Safety Executive CentreForum Atlas of Variation Scottish Health Survey 2013 Centre for Mental Health 2014, London Action Mental Health Northern Ireland Mind & Chartered Institute of Personnel Development 2011 London School of Economics & Political Sciences MODULE 7-3-

MANAGING MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACEHOW TO PUT MENTAL HEALTHON THE AGENDAGood mental health should be a priority for any business, and implementingit needs to involve more than just the HR department. It’s vital to getbuy-in from senior leadership and make sure conversations about mentalhealth and wellbeing happen at board level.Make the business caseSenior leaders are understandably under increased pressure to cut costs andoptimise return on investment, and may not immediately understand the businessimpact of poor mental health. Be prepared to make the business case and havefigures to back this up – come prepared with figures on staff turnover and morale,and bring relevant feedback from exit interviews.Set targetsWe all work better if we have clear goals that we are working towards, andmental health in the workplace is no different. Identify the key drivers for mentalhealth, and the key indicators; figure out how to measure these and what levelthe company should achieve; and ensure these are an integral part of yourcompany’s performance targets.Choose your momentThink about the best times to start a conversation with the board and get theirbuy-in. There are some important dates throughout the year which can help to getthe conversation started, including the Mental Health Foundation’s Mental HealthAwareness Week in May and World Mental Health Day in October. However, don’tfeel you have to wait for one of these. There are also many internal milestonesthat can help to put mental health on the agenda like board meetings, staffsurveys, staff absence reports. Think about the times in the year when your businessis busiest and staff are under the most stress, so you can raise the issue ahead oftime.-4-MODULE 7

MANAGING MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACEIdentify your board championIt helps to enlist a board member as your mental health champion – someonewho will raise the issue at the highest levels of the business. It may be they haveexperienced a mental health problem themselves, or they may simply bepassionate about looking after staff. They can also help to lead by example,encouraging more junior employees to think about their mental wellbeing at work.Break the tabooMental Health is still a taboo subject in the workplace. 67% of employees feelscared, embarrassed or unable to talk about mental health concerns withtheir employer2. To break this taboo and create an open and caring culture it’simportant to get your board on side and take a top down approach. If they arespeaking out on the issue, perhaps even drawing on their own experience, thenthis attitude will trickle down to managers and then staff.Expert viewChris O’Sullivan, Mental Health Foundation“Mental health is something we all have. Workplaces that challenge us, supportand develop our sense of purpose, and support us when things are hard can playa massive role in protecting and building our mental health. A mentally healthyworkplace can be built on the back of good basic line management relationships,clear HR policy and engagement of staff in decision making. Prevention is key we need to enable everyone to flourish, those in distress to access help quickly,and those who have recovered from mental health problems to stay well andenjoy successful careers”Take FiveWhen is your next opportunity to raise the issue of mental healthwith the board? Do you know when your next board meeting is? Isthere a busy period at work coming up?Good mental health is vital to business performance, becauseDid youknow?MODULE 7when staff feel happy and well cared for, they are moreengaged, more motivated and more loyal. As many as a thirdof employees would consider leaving their job if they didn’t feellooked after by their employer and a further 21% would be lessmotivated and productive3.-5-

MANAGING MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACESTART WITH YOUR MANAGERSYour line managers are absolutely pivotal. They are usually the ones responsible fordealing with mental health in the workforce day to day, but many can lack theconfidence or experience to manage this alone.Training and support - Help your managers to help your people. Consider investingin training to help them recognise the early signs of a mental health conditionand put strategies in place to support staff that are affected. It’s also importantto follow up to make sure they have taken this training on board and understandhow to apply this day-to-day. Make it clear that they are not expected to becomeexperts in mental health or to handle problems alone – instead they are there toflag problems and signpost the support and resources available.Many third parties offer training for managers to helpthem recognise, understand and deal with theseissues. For example, Mental Health First Aid is a coursedeveloped by Mental Health First Aid England which teaches peoplehow to identify, understand and help a person who may be developinga mental health problem. In the same way as we learn physical firstaid, mental health first aid teaches you how to recognise those crucialwarning signs of mental ill health.For more information on Mental Health First Aid, visit their website.Starting conversations - Many managers can find it difficult to talk about mentalhealth issues with staff, often for fear of doing or saying the wrong thing. Talk toyour managers about how to get the conversation started.Every October for World Mental Health Day, Mental Health Foundationcoordinates ‘Tea and Talk’, an initiative designed to create conversationson mental health in communities and workplaces. A Tea and Talk sessionis a great way to start a conversation on your workplace about whatmental health means to the workforce, and what the organisation mightdo about it. Find out more here.For more tips on communication, see module 3:Communicating your wellbeing strategy.-6-MODULE 7

MANAGING MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACEHAVE YOU SPOTTED THE SIGNS?There are many reasons why mental health has become such a huge issue in theworkplace today, but one factor is that many cases go unrecognised until theybecome severe. Whilst many employers are now primed to spot signs of physicalillness, mental health problems can be more difficult to identify. Here are somecommon signs that someone may be struggling with their mental health at work.EmotionalPlease tickYes / NoCognitiveYes / NoBehaviouralYes / NoPhysicalYes / NoBusinessYes / NoEmployees who are struggling with their mental healthmay seem irritable, sensitive to criticism, demonstrate anuncharacteristic loss of confidence or seem to lose their sense ofhumour.An employee may make more mistakes than usual, have problemsmaking decisions, or not be able to concentrate. Look out for anysudden and unexplained drop in performance at work.This could include things like arriving late, not taking lunchbreaks, taking unofficial time off, not joining in office banter, ornot hitting deadlines, becoming more introvert or extroverted,generally acting out of character.Employees who are stressed sometimes exhibit physicalsymptoms such as a constant cold, being tired at work, lookinglike they haven’t made an effort with their appearance, or rapidweight loss or gain.At a business level, look out for increased absence or staffturnover. Have you noticed employees working longer hours ora general drop in motivation or productivity levels?MODULE 7-7-

MANAGING MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACEYes Spotting one or two of these symptoms does not always mean there is anunderlying mental health issue, but you should consider checking on youremployee’s wellbeing or picking up with their manager - especially if youknow they may be going through a difficult time inside or outside work.No If you haven’t experienced any of these, you’re doing a good job lookingafter the wellbeing of your staff at the moment. However, with mentalhealth problems on the rise think about how to safeguard this for thefuture.Expert viewJoy Reymond, Head of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, UnumAlthough understanding of mental health issues is growing,misconceptions still remain – especially in the workplace.Once thought of as something that happened to anunfortunate few, one in four people are now affected bymental health issues, and employers need to be able to spotthe signs. If not, problems may only come to light later onwhen more serious interventions are necessary.Addressing stigma and discrimination in the workplace is critical to ensuringthat people can come forward and seek help. National anti-stigmaprogrammes operate in England, Wales and Scotland. You can find resourcesand multimedia content from programmes local to you:Time to Change WalesTime to Change EnglandSee Me Scotland-8-MODULE 7

MANAGING MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACEWHAT NEXT?Take TenAn effective mental health and wellbeing strategy considersprevention, intervention and protection. You can find someways businesses can tackle these three issues issues in thefollowing pages, but before you read on, have a think aboutyour own workplace. What do you already do to supportgood mental health, where can you improve this, and whatelse might you need to introduce?PreventionSafeguarding the mental health of your workforceHow do you already do this?How can this be improved?What else might you need to introduce?MODULE 7-9-

MANAGING MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACEInterventionStepping in before problems become more seriousHow do you already do this?How can this be improved?What else might you need to introduce?ProtectionSupporting staff if they need time off, or need help returning to the workplaceHow do you alread

Understand why good mental health matters in the workplace Know the role that you and your managers can play in spotting and handling mental health issues at work Be aware of medium to long-term actions for improving mental health in the workplace and how to build awareness of them. What is mental health and why does it matter? Poor mental health is one of the biggest issues in the workplace .