The World Health Organisation (WHO) has today released their recommendations for employers to help them better support the mental health of their employees.
These evidence-based guidelines include advice on helping organisations to provide staff training, feel confident offering individual and group interventions, and challenging stigma in the workplace.
WHO researchers estimate that 15% of working-age adults have a mental disorder at any point in time, and there are 301 million people living with anxiety – many of whom are in work. They believe that mental health conditions are costing the global economy around $1 trillion each year, so it’s critical for employers to think about mental health in their organisation.
We know there is a strong link between our work and our mental wellbeing. Good work can help you to feel valued, to build friendly relationships, and add purpose to your life. Poor working conditions, on the other hand, can harm our wellbeing.
The WHO guidance, named #MentalHealthAtWork, looks at three strategies to address mental health at work:
You can find a link to the recommendations here.
Over 2000 employers in the UK have signed up to the Mental Health at Work Commitment, which is a simple framework based on the Thriving at Work standards, pulling from the pledges and standards that are already out there, using up-to-date research, from UK employers and mental health experts.
The WHO report reveals how it is more important than ever to think about the mental wellbeing of your employees, and signing the commitment is a promise to your staff that you want to make a positive difference.
Many of the recommendations in the new report reflect the standards within the Mental Health at Work Commitment. For example, the report seeks to help organisations to lower the risk of someone’s job causing them emotional distress, which might lead to lower mental wellbeing. It lists common triggers, such as poor job security or long hours, and suggests ways employers might be able to change in order to help their staff manage better.
And in the Mental health at Work Commitment, signees are supported to proactively ensure work design and organisational culture drive positive mental health outcomes.
WHO draws attention to the importance of managers, suggesting they are in a strong position to create positive change for their reports. The researchers found evidence to suggest that training managers around spotting the signs of mental health and support routes helps to increase their confidence and improve attitudes around mental health within the workplace. Trained managers also were found to be linked to staff feeling confident in seeking the wellbeing support they might need.
The study also highlighted that training was really important when helping to support team members with existing mental health conditions, with such benefits seeming to be at their strongest if training on a regular basis and within working hours.
Through the delivery of Mental health at Work training and putting suitable policies and procedures in place, organisations can ensure all staff are suitably prepared and educated to have effective conversations about mental health.
Depending on the course you choose, our Mental Health First Aid courses cover some if not all of the following topics:
On successful completion of the course delegates will receive an accredited Qualsafe MHFA Certificate