Managers guide on supporting workplace mental wellbeing

Smiling nurse

04 / 2 / 2015 12.30am

We have put together web-based guidance to help managers understand the issues relating to mental health problems and to point them to available resources. This guide is divided into two sections:

Section one: promoting a healthy approach to work 

Section two: supporting staff who are experiencing mental health issues 

Managers have a key role in improving the mental health and wellbeing of NHS staff. Mental health is an issue that NHS managers are dealing with more and more regularly. Many NHS managers do not feel confident in speaking to their staff about mental health, as it's often perceived as a challenging issue. 

Mental health can fluctuate along a spectrum in the same way that physical health does and there may be times when it is better than others. Mental health problems should be supported in the same, honest and consistent way that physical health problems are.

Mental health problems affect one in four people at some point in their life and accounts for over 30 per cent of sickness absence in the NHS. Mental health problems cover a range of conditions, such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, bipolar disorder (manic depression), schizophrenia, personality disorders and psychosis.

Managers do not need to be experts in mental health but an understanding of how to support staff and how to have open conversations about mental health problems will help create a positive culture around mental wellbeing.

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