Mental health charity Mind launches the new, free training for small to medium-sized organisations to promote better workplace wellbeing

Available on the Mental Health at Work website, the resources are aimed at organisations with 250 people or fewer. Mental Health for Small Workplaces aims to build staff confidence in thinking about mental health and talking about within the workplace.

The training includes three short training modules: building your awareness, tips to look after yourself, and tips to support colleagues. Modules take just 20 minutes to complete, and there is also a guide alongside to help employers roll out the training successfully in their organisations.

Mental Health for Small Workplaces has been funded by The Royal Foundation. It can be accessed through the Mental Health at Work website, an initiative by Heads Together and Mind which was launched in 2018 by The Duke of Cambridge.

A major study into workplace wellbeing by Mind revealed that poor mental health at work is widespread, with half (48%) of all people surveyed reporting having experienced a mental health issue at their current job. The survey of more than 43,000 employees revealed that only half of those who had experienced poor mental health had talked to their employer about it, suggesting that as many as one in four UK workers is struggling in silence.

Head of Workplace Wellbeing Programmes at Mind, Faye McGuinness, said: “Poor mental health is now the number one reason for staff absence. Mind’s major study into workplace wellbeing has revealed that poor mental health at work is widespread, with half of all people surveyed saying they have experienced a mental health problem at their current job.

“For small workplaces, employees are the most valuable asset. We are beginning to see employers prioritise the mental health of their staff, but we have some way to go. Not only is looking after staff the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense, resulting in increased productivity, morale and retention.

“From talking to small business owners we know that it can sometimes be difficult to find the time or resources to invest in mental health in the workplace. That’s why we have made it easier, with online training ideal for employees of smaller organisations.”

Mind’s research also revealed that around three in five people said that their mental health was ‘good or very good’ (58%) while 13% of respondents said that their mental health was currently ‘poor or very poor’. Of those saying their mental health was poor, 82% said that this was work-related.

One of the first organisations to test the modules was CancerCare. On the resources, Alison Stainthorpe, Head of Operations said: “Mental Health for Small Workplaces is well structured, informative and easy to access and navigate through.

“Each topic covered can be completed independently and includes a range of facts, short informative videos, as well as links to valuable resources and support.

“This will be a great resource for our staff to access.”

Kat Nicholls, Content Producer at Memiah and lead of Memiah’s Wellness Initiative said: “A lot of information currently out there on mental health in the workplace is geared towards big companies with lots of employees, so having something tailored to SME organisations like ours is really helpful. There are certainly unique challenges in smaller companies, but there are also a lot of benefits.

“Here at Happiful we try to take advantage of having a smaller number of employees by keeping communication open and listening to feedback. We carried out a survey to find out what the ‘pain-points’ were in our existing approach and have worked over the last year to improve them.

“We also listen to what the employees want in terms of learning and education and are able to respond with what they want. We've already run stress and self-care workshops based on this feedback and plan to run more in the future in line with what the topics our employees want covered.”

Talking about your mental health - to anyone - can be daunting, but talking to your employer can be even more frightening. Know that you’re not alone and you are worthy of support. For more information, read our articles, Reporting a Mental Health Issue at Work and How to Talk About Mental Health at Work.

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