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Mental Health Awareness Week: 13 – 19 May 2024

By May 14, 2024May 15th, 2024No Comments

Why should you be concerned about the impact of mental health on the wellbeing of your employees in the workplace?

Mental Health can have a significant impact on employee wellbeing as it can be a major cause of long-term absence from work. Employers have a fundamental duty of care for the health, safety and welfare of their workers.

BIVDA understands the importance of promoting mental wellbeing at work and supporting employees’  mental health. Our next EDI Summit, expected later this year of early next year, will place greater focus on mental health and the topic will also be explored in future HR Working Party meetings.

CIPD recommendations for employers

  • Ensure that senior leaders are aware of the importance of workplace health and wellbeing, and that they embed actions to ensure that it’s taken seriously across the organisation.
  • Train line managers to manage people well. Line managers are key to employee wellbeing and should ensure people’s workloads and deadlines are manageable. They should provide clear objectives and give constructive feedback, as part of a trust-based relationship with employees. They should have the confidence to have sensitive conversations with people and offer support and flexibility if a team member needs adjustments to help manage their health and work.
  • Provide early access to occupational health support and other specialist sources of help, such as counselling or physiotherapy.
  • Develop an evidence-based understanding of the causes of absence and unhealthy practices in your organisation, such as ‘presenteeism’ and ‘leaveism’. Unless the underlying issues prompting people’s attendance and behaviours are addressed, efforts to improve health and wellbeing will be short-lived.
  • Tailor policies and practices to organisational and employee needs. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to designing an effective employee wellbeing strategy – its content should be based on the organisation’s unique needs and characteristics, and of course those of its employees.
  • Build a robust organisational framework to promote good mental wellbeing and foster a culture where people can talk about mental health and seek help where needed.
  • Carry out a risk assessment or audit on work-related stress across the workforce, as part of a preventive approach to identify its main causes.
Ben Kemp