The Duke of Cambridge along with Heads2Gether and MIND launched a new online platform called Mental Health at Work on Tuesday 11 September, which will help employers support their employees to minimise the impact of poor mental health on their work lives.

Poor mental health at work is estimated to cost the UK economy up to £99bn each year and affect 300,000 employees a year. Acceptance by employers that mental ill health is sometimes inevitable, and that for at least a quarter of employees likely to happen at some point in their lives, could bring relief that is life changing, and indeed avoid loss of  jobs and negative impacts on both employees and employers.

The Mental Health at Work website is a useful resource which includes advice for colleagues, line managers and ideas for changing the culture at work around being able to talk about mental health without this having a negative impact on colleagues and line manager’s view of the person’s abilities and personal value in the workplace.

Here are some of the tips included for health organisations:

  • Make sure that managers are aware when it may be appropriate to consider redeployment, what the redeployment options are and the process. Also, encourage managers to be supportive of people who may be redeployed into their areas.
  • Include training on softer skills and presenteeism when developing training for managers and staff about sickness absence, health and wellbeing or managing long-term absence.
  • Ensure there is a robust pathway for reporting absence and that everyone is aware of what to do and why it is important that absence is reported in a timely and accurate way.

NICE guidance recommends that companies: “promote a culture of participation, equality and fairness that is based on open communication and inclusion.”

The new website also recommends organisations use an NHS-staff definition of emotional wellbeing,  – a three point scale:

  • on a go slow
  • having a good day
  • on the edge.

This resource can help staff to check their own wellbeing or speak to and support colleagues with their emotional wellbeing. It also provides resources and signposting, no matter how you are feeling.

See this link for more information on the emotional wellbeing tool: http://www.nhsemployers.org/howareyoufeelingNHS