9 Essential Reasons Employers Need to Invest in Mental Health Training for Managers

Invest in Mental Health Training for Managers

Research suggests that improving UK workplace mental health management could reduce employers’ losses attributed to mental illness by 30%, collectively saving between £8- £13 billion a year. Mental health training for employees has been shown to improve trust among employees, encourage open dialogue around mental health and effectively upskill an employee’s ability to support issues with mental health in the workplace.

There is still a great deal of ignorance and stigma surrounding mental health issues in the workplace. Many people are uncertain about how to recognise a mental illness and how to respond when faced with it. This might result in unwittingly stigmatising behaviours and attitudes, meaning that those needing mental health help and support do not receive it or may even find the workplace exacerbates their symptoms. 

Your willingness to open up an honest conversation about mental health with your employees is exactly the kind of support that so many people want and need right now. Let us answer some common questions from employers and then highlight our nine main reasons mental health training for employees should be at the top of your agenda heading into 2022.

Why do managers need mental health training?

Our mental health training for employees 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 for employees 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 provisions. ​​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 well-being 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 in the UK’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. 

Outlined below are 9 essential reasons why investing in mental health training for employees and managers should be top of the agenda for this year and heading into 2023.

9 essential reasons to invest in mental health training for employees and managers:
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

Preventing poor mental health from developing is more effective than waiting until people become ill. In troubling times when 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 well-being 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 it. Even if they do realise it, 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 will likely lead to a much more beneficial outcome.

Employers are currently facing some complex challenges when attracting new talent and retaining their talent. Many companies have noted the mental health toll the pandemic has had on their workforce and have responded by offering mental health training for employees and well-being benefits and training incentives to support employee needs.

Reduced absence / sick leave

Mental illness is the leading cause of workplace sickness absence. In 2020, 38.8 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries, with the average person taking 17 days off work. Over the same period, the latest government research shows depression or anxiety accounted for 51% of all work-related ill health cases and 55% of all working days lost due to work-related ill health.

Considering the unique challenges the global population faced during this time, the main factors cited were mostly; work-related stress, depression or anxiety related to workload pressures, including tight deadlines, too much responsibility, and a lack of managerial support.

With such a high percentage of working days lost to mental health, businesses need to look at ways to invest in mental health training for their leaders.  This investment can reduce suffering and create a workplace environment that promotes employee well-being and open and honest dialogues about mental health.

Increased productivity

In the age of presenteeism, many workers will try to work through a period of illness – but their productivity and quality of work will suffer.

A survey by CV-Library found that 14.1% of workers consider themselves to have a mental health problem. Workers don’t have to be clinically diagnosed with mental illness to have symptoms that affect their work and home life. Often people will not know that they are experiencing symptoms of a specific disorder – instead, they might think they’re simply going through a ‘rough patch’ or see chronic stress in the workplace as a part of the job. 

By partnering with a mental health training provider, employers can reduce the number of days lost to sickness and reduce the stress and anxiety experienced by individual workers who are hiding their mental health problems due to the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace.

Lower employee turnover

A staggering 50% of millennial employees and 75% of Generation Z employees have left jobs for mental health reasons. Financial problems such as unaffordable living costs and overwhelming debt impact their psychological well-being. How are employers trained to deal with these stressors? Are they prepared to signpost the right resources?

Business leaders and Corporate health and well-being directors that prioritise mental well-being have a real opportunity to reduce employee turnover and increase the engagement and happiness of their workforce.

Motivation towards development and performance improvement

Workers who are happy and not stressed or anxious at work will be motivated towards professional development. They will find it easier to concentrate on complex tasks and will be more inclined to collaborate with colleagues. This will affect their current performance and future success in their job. 

When workers can’t focus on a task due to mental health issues, concentration will impede the ability to learn new skills or problem-solve, halting or postponing vital development opportunities for promising workers.

Diverse workforce

One in five women (compared to one in eight men) suffer from a mental illness, LGBT+ people are more than twice as likely to develop depression and anxiety, and people from black and minority ethnic groups are far more likely to be diagnosed with and admitted to hospital for mental health problems. 

A McKinsey report on ‘Why Diversity Matters’ shows that businesses that champion diversity are 15-35% more likely to financially outperform their competitors. Companies that don’t support mental well-being initiatives or have a poor track record for supporting previous employees will find it even harder to attract, engage, retain and develop diverse employees.

About Onebright

Onebright is building a new way to deliver mental health training for employees and their dependents worldwide – investing in clinical expertise and technology solutions to deliver a complete mental healthcare service at scale. Talk to us today about creating a brighter workplace with respect and acknowledging every employee’s mental health needs.  

Our goal is to encourage employers to put employee well-being first. Learn more about our training and consultancy by heading to our mental health training for employees page. All sessions can be done online, via video conference, by telephone, or in person. Accredited CBT therapists facilitate the sessions. 

Related Articles
The Connection Between Mental Health Training & The Great Resignation
The connection between mental health training and The Great Resignation
Read article
Stressed Employees? Five Ways Mental Health Training Fosters Employee Wellbeing
Stressed Employees? Five Ways Mental Health Training Fosters Employee Wellbeing
Read article
What first-time managers can do about digital burnout and exhaustion in the workplace
What first-time managers can do about digital burnout and exhaustion in the workplace
Read article
Get in Touch

Want to talk to us about mental health training?

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.