Mental Health

Woman serving fruit

Mental health issues can affect anyone, at any age and at any time. 

It is likely that members of your current and potential workforce have or will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives. Therefore, it’s important to to learn how to support employees facing difficulties and engage with candidates who have previously had mental health issues.

Did you know?

  • In a recent report published by the Institute for Public Policy and Research (IPPR, Flexibility for who? July 2017) it was found that people with poor mental health are more likely to be unemployed. In order to be seen as an employer of choice, employers should take steps to promote positive mental health in the workplace and create more inclusive cultures.
  • Britain’s Healthiest Workplace identifies how employees with flexible hours and the ability to work from home report lower absences and greater job satisfaction, and consider themselves to be in better physical and mental health.
  • One in four people can be expected to have problems with their mental health at some point in their lives, so it's likely that your workforce already includes people who have encountered issues with their mental health.

  • Promote positive mental health and wellbeing in your organisation, you could use the following resources to help you: 
  • This handy infographic highlights key facts and figures about mental wellbeing. 
  • The how are you feeling today tool helps to bridge any gaps in understanding and enables us to talk openly and regularly about emotional health,  
  • Consider advertising your roles in different places. Advertise roles through your local Jobcentre Plus and your local mental health charities, for example MIND.

  • Hold a recruitment open day where potential candidates can have taster sessions within different departments of the organisation.
  • Make sure all job descriptions and person specifications are clearly set out, understandable and easy to follow to help relieve any stress during the application process.
  • Be realistic when giving timescales throughout the recruitment process. For example, this could mean updating the candidate with any issues during the application process, or outlining the likely timeframe for their start date. This will help reduce stress and anxiety for candidates. 


When people with mental health issues have been recruited into your organisation it is vital they receive consistent and ongoing support from their line manager and colleagues. 

  • Work with occupational health to reduce stress in the workplace. This health and wellbeing leads network webinar recording can help you to focus on stress in the workplace.
  • Find out if there is enthusiasm in your organisation for a staff mental health network or support group. 
  • Consider a buddying system or point of contact for staff who may need specific support. 
  • Mental health can affect sickness absence in a workforce. This Sickness absence toolkit can update managers with everything they need to know about sickness absence.
  • Take a look at these external resources, for more information on supporting mental wellbeing in specific community groups:

Further reading

Stress and its impact on the workplace Read guidance and find tools designed to help combat stress, common sickness absence and mental health issues.
NICE public health guidance This guidance is for those who have a direct or indirect role in, and responsibility for, promoting mental wellbeing at work.
We've got work to do Learn how you can support people facing mental health issues back into work and provide employment support by reading more in MIND's 2014 report
Time to Change Consider signing up to Time to Change, a campaign to transform how we think and act about mental health. By signing up to their pledge, you can: become an employer of choice, receive an action plan template, submit your action plan and receive a Time to Change pledge board.

Find out more about other community groups you may want to engage with and recruit into your organisation. 

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