Business advisors in a meeting

Strategies for Promoting Mental Health
by Lynne Rawlinson

Mental health is as important as physical health, yet it often goes unaddressed in the workplace. As employers, we are responsible for creating a supportive and healthy environment for our employees.

In this article, we will explore strategies for promoting mental health in the workplace and why it is crucial for the well-being and success of our employees.

The Importance of Mental Health in the Workplace


According to the World Health Organisation, mental health disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide, suggesting that many of our employees may be struggling with mental health issues that can affect their work performance, productivity, and overall well-being.

Mental health issues can manifest in numerous ways, from decreased concentration and decision-making skills to interpersonal conflicts and withdrawal from work engagements. Employers must recognise these signs and take action to support their employees.

Ignoring mental health in the workplace can have serious consequences, not only for the individual but for the company as well. Untreated mental health issues can lead to increased absenteeism, turnover, and decreased productivity. According to NHS England, Mental health problems cost the UK economy at least £117.9 billion per year in lost productivity.

Moreover, a workplace that neglects mental health can develop a toxic culture where stress, burnout, and anxiety become the norm, further exacerbating mental health problems by creating a vicious cycle that is difficult to break. Promoting mental health in the workplace can create a more positive and supportive environment for our employees, leading to a healthier and more productive workforce.


Strategies for Promoting Mental Health in the Workplace

Business Doctor, Steve Ennis, has teamed up with several mental health experts to deliver a series of workshops designed to educate employers on signs of poor mental health and offer strategies for promoting mental health in the workplace.


Create a Culture of Openness and Support

One of the first steps in promoting mental health in the workplace is creating a culture of openness and support. Employees should feel comfortable discussing their mental health and seeking help if needed.

To foster such a culture, leadership can openly discuss the importance of mental health, share their own experiences, and encourage employees to prioritise their well-being.

Implementing mental health policies and training for managers and employees will help them to recognise and respond to mental health issues. It is also helpful to have a designated point person for employees to go to if they need support or resources.

Additionally, anonymous feedback mechanisms allow employees to express their concerns or suggest improvements to the company’s mental health support without fear of judgment or repercussions.


Offer Mental Health Resources and Benefits

Training and support manager for Business Doctors, Jo Kerrigan, recently completed a Level 2* in Counselling. She said, “Poor mental health has been on the increase since the pandemic, particularly in the workplace. I wanted to learn how I could better support our franchise partners and provide guidance on how they can support their clients on the subject.”

In addition to creating a culture of support, it is essential to offer resources and benefits for employees who are struggling with their mental health. These include access to counselling services, mental health hotlines, and mental health education resources.

Workplace wellness programs that include mental health components can also be a valuable resource. These programs can offer stress management courses, resilience training, and workshops on topics such as coping with anxiety and depression.

Employers can also consider offering mental health benefits as part of their healthcare package, such as coverage for therapy sessions or mental health medication to support the well-being of employees and send a message that mental health is a priority for the company.

Furthermore, providing employees with access to digital mental health tools, like apps for meditation and mood tracking, can empower them to take proactive steps in managing their mental health.


Encourage a Work-Life Balance

A healthy work-life balance is essential for maintaining good mental health. Employers can promote this by encouraging employees to take breaks and use their vacation time, implementing flexible work hours, and discouraging after-hours work communication.

Workplace policies that allow for telecommuting or compressed work weeks can also contribute to a better work-life balance. These policies give employees more control over their schedules, which can reduce stress and burnout.

It is also important for managers to lead by example and prioritise their own work-life balance to set a precedent for employees to do the same without feeling guilty or pressured to be available constantly.

Encouraging employees to set boundaries between work and personal life can further reinforce the importance of downtime. Employers can support this by respecting those boundaries and not expecting employees to respond to work communications during their off-hours.


Educate Employees on Mental Health

Many people may not understand mental health or may have misconceptions about it. By educating employees on mental health and creating a safe space for discussion, we can reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and promote a better understanding of it.

Educational initiatives could be workshops, seminars, or even a mental health awareness month where employees can learn about different mental health disorders, how to support their colleagues, and how to take care of their own mental health.

  • Bringing in mental health professionals to speak with employees.
  • Providing literature and resources.
  • Even incorporating mental health education into onboarding processes for new hires.

Interactive activities such as role-playing scenarios or group discussions can make these educational sessions more engaging and impactful, helping to ensure that employees receive the information and understand how to apply it in their daily lives.


Foster a Positive Work Environment

A positive work environment can significantly impact employees’ mental health. Employers should strive to create an inclusive, respectful workplace that promotes a sense of belonging.

Implementing recognition programmes can promote positivity if they acknowledge individual and team achievements. Providing constructive feedback and celebrating milestones can also contribute to a positive atmosphere.

Employers can also implement stress-management techniques, such as mindfulness exercises or yoga classes, to help employees manage their stress levels.

Moreover, ensuring that the physical workspace is comfortable, well-lit, and ergonomically designed can help reduce physical strain, which can positively affect mental health.


Create Opportunities for Socialisation

Socialising with co-workers can positively impact mental health by reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness. Employers can create opportunities for socialisation by organising team-building activities, company outings, or even a simple lunch together.

These activities should be inclusive and consider all employees’ diverse interests and abilities. Social events mustn’t inadvertently exclude anyone, as this could have the opposite effect on mental health.

Virtual socialisation opportunities can also help, especially for remote teams. Online team games, virtual coffee breaks, and digital “get to know you” sessions can help remote employees feel connected to their co-workers.


Encourage Self-Care

Woman doing yoga in the office representing mental health strategies


Self-care is essential for maintaining good mental health. Employers can encourage self-care by providing resources and tools for employees, such as meditation apps, self-care workshops, or even a designated quiet space for employees to relax and recharge.

Incorporating self-care into performance discussions can also be effective. When managers emphasise the importance of self-care as part of an employee’s professional development, it legitimises these practices in the workplace.

Employers should also encourage employees to take breaks when needed and prioritise their mental health.

Promoting regular health assessments and incentives for employees who engage in self-care activities can further encourage a culture where mental health is taken seriously.

Mental Health in the Workplace: A Win-Win Situation

Investing in mental health in the workplace is a win-win situation for employees and employers. By promoting mental health, employers can create a more positive and supportive work environment, leading to a healthier and more productive workforce.

Employees will feel supported and valued, which will result in increased job satisfaction, improved work performance, and reduced stress levels. This will benefit not only the individual but also the company as a whole.



Mental health is essential to overall well-being. Employers can promote mental health and create a more productive and healthier workplace by creating a culture of openness and support, offering resources and benefits, encouraging a healthy work-life balance, educating employees, fostering a positive work environment, creating opportunities for socialisation, and promoting self-care.

Investing in the mental health of our employees will create a positive and supportive environment for our employees.

More articles on the subject of mental health: The small business owner and mental health

*Level 2 Counselling.

Back to News Contact Us