Mental Health Awareness Week 2019

Lizzi Rutter

Client Support - HR

What is mental health?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

What can I do to help?

With one in four people experiencing a common mental health problem in any given week, creating an open and supportive work culture has never been more important. Starting a conversation on mental health may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. 

From regularly checking in with your team to encouraging them to open up, you can support them in a few, simple steps:

Talk openly

It’s important to create a culture where you can openly discuss and manage mental wellbeing. A simple way to communicate this with your employees is to explain that mental health matters and encourage them that being open is important. You could organise a meeting and let them know that you’re here to listen and support them. This will help make your employees aware that your workplace is a welcoming and supportive space for everyone.

Regularly check in with your team

One-to-one catch ups and meetings are great ways of openly talking about mental health. You can use this time to ask how your employees are feeling and if there’s anything they’d like to talk about. If there is something on their mind, encourage them to seek support or share any helpful initiatives you have. 

Taking the time to ask someone how their day is going, sharing a joke or having a quick chat could make the world of difference to how someone is feeling.

Be honest

Create a culture where conversations about mental health are regular and normalised. Ask simple, non-judgmental questions and let your team explain in their own words how they feel and what support they need.

Keep it confidential 

Opening up about any health concerns can be tough, especially as mental health worries are personal. You should make it clear that any mental health issue they wish to discuss will always be treated with confidentiality, respect and understanding. 

When does a mental health condition class as a disability?

A mental health condition is considered a disability if it has a long-term effect on a person’s normal day-to-day activity. This is defined under the Equality Act 2010. The condition is 'long term' if it lasts, or is likely to last, 12 months.

If you have any employees that you think might have a disability and require further advice, please contact us on 0161 476 8276 or email

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