Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England recently launched a Workplace Wellbeing Toolkit to mark World Mental Health Day. The Toolkit is built in response to the findings of the ‘Mental Health at Work Report 2017’, published last week, by Business in the Community (BiTC).
BiTC’s research suggests shifting attitudes towards mental health at work, with 84% of employers acknowledging their responsibility to staff mental wellbeing. However, the report also reveals a gap between how senior leaders and employees view mental health – 61% of owners, CEO’s and Managing Directors said their employee’s mental health is well supported, compared to just 40% of employees.
In addition, the report indicates a need for training and further information to support workplace wellbeing. 49% of managers said they would welcome training on mental health conditions and 55% said they believed online information and guidance would help them to support the wellbeing of their employees. Despite this, only a quarter of line managers surveyed had received any kind of mental health training – training that is even more important when considering that nearly all believe that what they do affects the wellbeing of their staff.
Poppy Jaman, CEO, MHFA England, commented, “It’s encouraging to see that attitudes towards mental health in the workplace are changing, however this report demonstrates that there is still room for leaders and managers to translate increased awareness into action.
"With 55% of line managers saying they believe that online information and guidance would help them to support the wellbeing of their employees, we hope that the Workplace Wellbeing toolkit we have launched today will support them in taking practical steps to create mentally health workplaces.
“We’re also calling on employers to make training a priority, with the report showing that only a quarter of line managers have received any training on mental health. Awareness, talking about mental health openly, is a great first step in creating a mentally healthy organisation. But to better support employees, transform practices and truly embed a whole organisational approach to workplace wellbeing, employers need to offer mental health training – our toolkit provides a comprehensive framework to support them in implementing this.”
The Workplace Wellbeing Toolkit is free to download on the MHFA England World Mental Health Day campaign page and illustrates a strategic step by step process to achieve ‘whole organisational’ change towards a mentally healthy workplace. The toolkit gives guidance on sensitising an organisation to talking about mental health, as well as advice on skills development and ensuring sustainability around training and awareness. It provides a suite of resources to support each stage, including posters to help raise awareness from MHFA England’s Take 10 Together campaign, an adaptable slide deck ‘Making the business case’ to help engage senior leaders, a recommended training framework, guidance on measuring the impact of mental health training, as well videos clips showing what other organisations have found to work well.
To find out more about Workplace MHFA courses visit: mhfaengland.org/organisations/workplace