What's Inside WHO's New Mental Health Guidelines for Organisations?

What's Inside WHO's New Mental Health Guidelines for Organisations?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released mental health guidelines for workplaces that provide evidence-based recommendations on interventions that can be implemented to better prevent, protect, promote, and support employees’ mental health. Onebright looks at these guidelines and evaluates the importance of organisational interventions, mental health training for managers, and interventions for individuals. 

Mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realise their abilities, learn and work well, and contribute to their communities. This latest report from the WHO is a timely look at employers’ role in supporting people living with mental health conditions. Below we look at how employers can create an inclusive environment that allows all employees to participate in work fully and fairly. 

Almost three-quarters of polled employers (72%) say their organisation’s focus on mental health and wellbeing has increased significantly and moderately since the pandemic.

That said, a disconnect appears as just over a quarter (26%) of professionals agree their employers have increased their workplace mental health focus or offered mental health training.  Clearly, employers have a critical role in fostering and maintaining a mentally healthy workplace. Employees are now more likely to expect their employers to make this available when needed.

There are, after all, many benefits for employers to safeguard the well-being of their workforce. These include a resilient and productive team, reduced absenteeism, and a happier, healthier workplace. 


What are WHO’s recommendations for supporting mental health in the workplace?

  • Organisational interventions for workers with mental health conditions

Reasonable work accommodations should be implemented for workers with mental health conditions. Including psychosocial disabilities, in line with international human rights principles.

  • Training managers

To support their employees’ mental health should be delivered to improve their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours towards mental health and improve employees’ help-seeking behaviours.

  • Training workers

In mental health literacy and awareness may be delivered to improve trainees’ mental health-related knowledge and attitudes at work, including reducing stigma around mental health.

  • Psychosocial interventions

That aims to build employees’ stress management skills. These include mindfulness or cognitive behavioural approaches, which may be considered to promote positive mental health, reduce emotional distress and improve work effectiveness. 

  • Returning to work after absence associated with mental health conditions

(a) work-directed care plus evidence-based mental health clinical care or (b) evidence-based mental health clinical care alone should be considered to reduce mental health symptoms and reduce days of absence.

What are mental health guidelines?

They are guidelines that help companies, business leaders, and employers follow best practices based on the best available clinical evidence.

Companies that commit to designing a mental health policy that follows evidence-based mental health guidelines have better outcomes for their people. They also improved returns on investment for their business. 

Why are mental health guidelines important for employers?

According to the WHO researchers, training managers and business leaders to spot the signs of mental health conditions and signposting support resources can help to increase their confidence and reduce the stigma around mental health in the workplace. Therefore, trained managers were also linked to employees feeling confident in actively seeking the well-being support they might need.

Do employers need a mental health policy?

Yes, it is recommended. Safe and healthy working environments are a fundamental right. Clinically-led mental health training that follows a clear mental health policy can help minimise workplace tension and conflicts and improve staff retention, performance, and productivity. Conversely, a lack of adequate structures and support at work (especially for those with mental health conditions) can affect a person’s ability to enjoy or do their job well.

Furthermore, it can undermine people’s attendance at work and even stop people from getting a job in the first place.

Which guidelines does Onebright follow to maintain UK mental health standards?

Onebright follows the guidelines of the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). They are an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care. NICE provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care.  

Why choose Onebright for your organisation’s mental health training and requirements?

Onebright works with most of the UK’s largest private medical insurers. Getting on-demand mental healthcare with Onebright as your provider is a relatively straightforward process for many organisations. Enquire about Onebright mental health training and learn more about how we can implement our mental health services into your business. Fill out the form below, and one of our team will contact you.  

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