4 Reasons Employers Should Invest in Mental Health Training in 2022
Why do managers need mental health training?
Our training helps everyone from employers to executive leaders learn the tools for providing a mentally fit workplace that is good for business. They will learn to use early identification principles, bolstered with CBT evidence-based interventions to support employees. Removing the taboo is vital to early detection and future-proofing employee mental health.
- Spot the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues
- Provide non-judgemental support and reassurance
- Guide a person to seek professional support
Is mental health training a legal requirement in the UK?
Mental health training in the workplace is a recommendation, not legislation, so employers must meet no set requirement to have sufficient mental health provision. However, NICE and Public Health England have released a guideline on Mental Wellbeing at Work that covers how to create the right conditions to support mental wellbeing at work through an environment and culture of participation, equality, safety and fairness in the workplace based on open communication.
What is the impact of poor mental health in the workplace?
The largest causes of sickness absence for our country’s workforce are depression, stress, and anxiety. Mental illness costs UK businesses up to £45 billion every year. This equates to sick leave, substituting employees who vacate their roles, reduced productivity and employees showing up to work who are not fully functioning.
Onebright’s Director of Clinical and Business Operations & Cognitive Behavioural Therapist (CBT), Shamira Graham, urges employers to understand the mental health issues their employees could be facing. Below she outlines four key benefits of mental health training in the workplace.
Raises Awareness of Mental Illnesses
When employers implement mental health training, they normalise meaningful conversations around the most common mental health illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Often, mental health is seen as ‘invisible’, but organisations have the power to transform how we show up for our colleagues, so no one has to suffer in silence. When people feel comfortable talking about their mental health with others, they’re less likely to become disengaged or withdraw.
Encourages early intervention to aid recovery
Taking steps to prevent poor mental health from developing is more effective than waiting until people become ill. In troubling times where an employee needs additional support, employers must be equipped with the right skills to recognise the early warning signs and be confident enough to encourage professional help where necessary. By becoming more informed and aware, employees and managers can spot the signs sooner rather than later. This reduces the likelihood of mild symptoms becoming more severe and can make recovery easier.
Increases confidence in dealing with mental illnesses
According to a recent study, three in five UK business leaders say they now feel more responsible for their employees’ mental health and wellbeing since the beginning of the pandemic. If managers can have confident conversations about mental health without feeling like they may overstep their boundaries, they can reduce the risk of presenteeism, absenteeism and staff turnover. Finding that line between offering support and offering solutions can be more straightforward with training.
Reduces stigma around mental health issues
Someone with poor mental health may not realise it, making it harder for managers to address. Even if they do realise, they may be reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. For an employee experiencing a mental health issue, your organisation’s informed, and supportive response is likely to lead to a much more beneficial outcome.
Onebright’s goal is to encourage employers to put employee wellbeing first. Learn more about our training and consultancy by heading to our employee mental health training page. All sessions can be done online, video conference, telephone, or in-person. Accredited CBT therapists facilitate the sessions.
Want to talk to us about mental health training?
Supporting your employees' mental health as they work remotely
But how can employers support mental health in their remote workers while maintaining the trust and respecting autonomy?
It all starts with your managers. Even in the most challenging and uncertain times, managers can show certain leadership habits in supporting their staff to encourage an open and honest conversation around employee mental health.
A new Catalyst survey shows managers who express vulnerability in the workplace have stronger teams who are more willing to “go above and beyond”. Yet, in this survey of over 12,000 employees, they found that only 24% of respondents said their manager was often or always vulnerable. While HR and managers are not experts in mental health, there is an opportunity to foster a virtual workplace culture of openness.
It may feel uncomfortable at first and even more unfamiliar in a virtual setting. Still, leaders who can talk about and show a broad spectrum of emotions are role models for healthy behaviours.
Not having to ‘cover’ someone’s true self is essential for creating a ‘psychologically safe’ virtual workplace. Once workers feel psychologically safe, they feel like they can make mistakes without penalty or reach out for help to a colleague without any stigma attached.
Another key area where managers can support mental health remotely is through meaningful, consistent communication. It can be difficult given that it is unlikely they see every employee every day when working remotely; this is where signs of an employee struggling can fly under the radar for a long time. However, when managers can demonstrate their awareness and understanding of how commonplace conditions such as anxiety and depression can be, this can remove part of the stress of trying to hide the problem on those occasions when someone checks in.
Onebright recommends employers need to be very clear on communicating what staff are entitled to by reinforcing the following:
- Workers are entitled to be heard
- Workers can have a confidential conversation about mental health problems and how it’s affecting their work
- Workers can ask for help
- Workers can have these requests promptly dealt with
Utilising the latest digital innovations, Onebright offers companies, both small and global, industry-leading, expert mental health training courses using a newly designed (co-created with clinicians) digital platform. Our training courses empower your workforce to develop life-enhancing techniques to cope with daily life pressures when working remotely.
Whether employees log in after a hard day to complete some stress management modules or use our evidence-driven mindfulness exercises during a lunch break, working remotely doesn’t need to come at the expense of a talented employee’s mental health.
Our specialist team of trainers of clinicians and academics, many of whom also have international business experience, can meet your unique training needs.