Mental health

Sarah McCarthy

Editor's message: Promoting good mental health and supporting employees who have a mental health issue can boost commitment to, and engagement with, an organisation. It can also improve employee retention, productivity and performance levels.

Despite recent awareness-boosting initiatives by the Government, mental health organisations and employers, stigma surrounding mental health issues remains widespread, particularly in the workplace. This can make employees reluctant to disclose a problem to their employer due to a fear that it may impact their career progression.

Employers should be proactive in monitoring the mental wellbeing of their employees and it is important that they understand the issues surrounding mental ill health and encourage disclosure in a sensitive way. Line managers play a key role in supporting employees who have a mental health condition and the employer should make sure that they provide comprehensive guidance and training for managers on how to do this confidently and effectively.

Having a policy or strategy to manage mental health in the workplace underlines an organisation’s commitment to promoting positive mental health and dealing with issues in a supportive way. It can also help to reduce the level of stigma surrounding mental ill health at work.

Sarah Byrne, HR practice editor

New and updated