Top tips on how to support employees’ mental health

The pandemic did much to put mental health issues in the spotlight. Public figures speaking out about their personal mental health struggles have helped to build awareness too. Thank you, J.K. Rowling, Prince Harry and Stephen Fry! But while we all congratulate ourselves on the enormous progress made, let’s not get too carried away…

According to Mind, approximately one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem every year. The mental health charity also claims that in England one in six people report experiencing a common mental health issue – such as anxiety or depression – in any given week.

Businesses have a duty of care towards their employees in terms of the prevention and treatment of such a common health issue. By way of support, the CIPD has published a detailed factsheet on the subject. For a quick synopsis of its advice on how you can best support employees’ mental health, please see below:

–  Management style is a major cause of work-related stress. Poorly trained and ill-supported people managers can have a devastating impact on their subordinates’ mental well-being. The CIPD’s expert tips for managers on how to prevent and reduce stress at work include getting to know your team better, leading by example to promote healthy working habits, regularly reviewing team members’ workloads to check that they’re manageable and realistic, and reflecting on your own management style.

– Employers and their managers need to be educated on how to spot the early signs of stress and mental health issues, and how to best respond. Early intervention can help prevent issues from escalating so keep your eyes open for red flags such as dramatic mood swings, sadness or irritability, and social withdrawal. Don’t attempt to give advice unless you are qualified to do so. Seek professional help instead.

– Line managers need to know which sources of support to recommend and where to find them. GPs, occupational health workers and mental health charities can all be good starting points. If your company offers employer-funded support for counselling services, communicate this clearly to employees.

– Promoting awareness and educating the whole workforce about mental health can help to reduce the stigma and encourage workers experiencing symptoms to reach out for help.

– Promoting a good work-life balance is an essential part of maintaining a healthy, motivated and productive workforce.

– Offering flexible working, even just temporarily, can be helpful for staff who need mental health support. It can also help to prevent stress and burnout. See the CIPD’s flexible working factsheet for details.

ABL, your trusted recruitment partner, wishes you all the best with your mental health policies and initiatives. If you’d like any expert support with your recruitment challenges, please get in touch. We have a vast pool of active, talented job seekers on our books. We will quickly and effectively match your job openings to the perfect candidates. Please email us at or call us on 020 7092 3939 to brainstorm the options.