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15 Apr 2024
by Sarah Carter

Mental health training: a cornerstone of your preventative strategy

Preventing mental health conditions and supporting those with them could save businesses billions of pounds

Five reasons employers need to invest in mental health training.jpg


Work-related stress and burnout are costing the UK economy £28bn a year, according to data and economic modelling from AXA UK and the centre for Business and Economic Research. 

Improving workplace mental health management to help prevent mental health conditions and support those with them could save businesses billions of pounds in employee absence and loss of productivity. 

There is a strong case for employers to have a long-term mental workplace mental health strategy, and one of the best tools is training for line managers and senior leaders. 

Benefits of mental health training

Mental health training helps managers learn the tools for providing a mentally fit workplace that is good for business.

Training could include: 

  • How to use early identification principles
  • How to remove stigma around mental health in the workplace
  • Spotting the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues
  • Providing non-judgemental support and reassurance
  • Guiding a person to seek professional support

Why you should invest in mental health training

Mental health training in the workplace is a recommendation, not legislation.

However, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England have released a guideline on Mental Wellbeing at Work that covers how to support mental wellbeing at work through an environment and culture of participation, equality, safety and fairness, based on open communication. 

Here are five essential reasons to invest in mental health training for managers and senior leaders.

1. It raises awareness of mental health conditions 

When employers implement mental health training, they normalise conversations about the most common mental health illnesses such as depression and anxiety.

Often, mental health is seen as ‘invisible’, but organisations have the power to transform how we support our colleagues, so no one has to suffer in silence. When people feel comfortable talking about their mental health with others, they’re less likely to become disengaged or withdraw. 

2. It encourages early intervention to aid recovery 

Preventing poor mental health from developing is more effective than waiting until people become ill. In troubling times when an employee needs additional support, employers must be equipped with the skills to recognise the early warning signs and be confident to encourage professional help where necessary.

3. It increases confidence in dealing with mental health

If managers and leaders can have confident conversations about mental health without feeling like they may overstep boundaries, they can reduce the risk of presenteeism, absenteeism and staff turnover. Finding the line between offering support and offering solutions is more straightforward with training.

4. Increased productivity 

In the age of presenteeism, many employees will try to work through illness – but their productivity and quality of work will suffer. Often people will not know that they are experiencing symptoms of a mental health problem – instead, they might think they’re simply going through a ‘rough patch’ or see chronic stress in the workplace as a part of the job. 

By partnering with a mental health training provider, employers can reduce the number of days lost to sickness and reduce the stress and anxiety experienced by individual employees who are hiding their mental health problems due to stigma.

5. Motivation towards development and better performance

Employees who are happy and not stressed or anxious at work will be motivated towards professional development. They will find it easier to concentrate on complex tasks and will be more inclined to collaborate with colleagues. This will affect their current performance and success in their job. 

When employees can’t focus on a task due to mental health issues, poor concentration will impede the ability to learn new skills or solve problems, halting or postponing development opportunities for promising employees.

In partnership with Onebright

Onebright is a personalised on-demand mental healthcare company.

Contact us today