Accessing Mental Health Support at Work

Offered By Walnut Grove Clinic

Talking about mental health is difficult in any situation, let alone at work. Talking can make us feel vulnerable and open to judgement. According to one study, 49% of people said they felt unable to speak to their manager about their mental health issues, while 57% who did speak to their manager felt that they did not receive any significant help.

In another survey, respondents who hadn’t experienced poor mental health were asked what they would do if they did. The majority (42.5%), said they would say nothing and try to carry on as normal.

Reaching Out for Support

When it comes to mental health it is an incredibly difficult thing to deal with and support someone through. Most people will at least know someone dealing with a mental health issue. Reach out to them, even if they isolate themselves, just knowing someone cares can be a huge help. For those of you who this may have affected, I encourage you to talk to someone. HR departments can be a great resource to reach out to as they can provide practical help.

Smaller Businesses

But what if your workplace isn’t big enough for an HR department - simply by listening and supporting, organisations can make a huge difference to their employees’ experience at work, and even their lives beyond office hours. This benefits the organisation just as much as it does the individual. Mental health is personal, but it plays a huge part in workplace productivity. An estimated 12.7% of sickness absence days each year are attributed to poor mental health. Experts estimate that as much as £8 billion could be saved each year if there was better mental health support in the workplace.

Stressed male executive holding his head in his hands working at laptop

But what does a supportive workplace look like? It often involves the following key factors:

  • Good communication
  • Access to information and resources
  • Stress training for staff
  • A place to escape
  • Someone to talk to
  • Flexible working

If you would like further advice about dealing with mental health in the workplace, there are the following good resources: Mind, the Mental Health Foundation, Anxiety UK, Samaritans


Want to keep learning?  Read more about the author Zara Ford and explore more articles from Walnut Grove Clinic:

Mental Health and Wellbeing

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