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Importance of good mental health at work

Understand your role in supporting the mental health of your employees

Mental health is about the way we think, feel and behave and our ability to cope. It is influenced by a range of factors, including our work and home life and by the experiences we have had.

The business case for supporting the mental health and wellbeing of your employees is a strong one. Here you can find information on why providing such support will benefit your organisation as a whole and why it is also a legal obligation and should be a priority for you.

Benefits of supporting mental health

Supporting the mental health of your employees can result in

  • fewer days lost to sickness and absence​ and fewer people leaving posts
  • improved productivity and engagement
  • improved teamwork
  • lower staff turnover and recruitment costs
  • access to a wider pool of applicants for posts.

Evidence shows that there are a number of simple, cost effective ways to support and encourage a mentally healthy workplace. In fact a systematic review by Deloitte in 2017 indicated that return on investment was overwhelmingly positive, with up to 9 times the return on investment being seen.

Also, there are many support structures and training that you can put in place in the workplace that are tax free. See Mental Health at Work's investment guidance sheet.

Legal requirements

As an employer you must minimise the risk of illness or injury to employees from their work. This includes things that can impact on an employee’s mental health.

This duty is part of the

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

The Equality Act also requires employers to provide reasonable adjustments for employees with long term disabilities. Mental health conditions can fall under this definition.

Support your employees

In 2017, an independent review of mental health and the role of workplaces was published and accepted in full by the UK government.  It provides information and examples on many ways that workplaces can support their staff and was supported in its development by many businesses.

Go to the Thriving at Work Review and summary booklet on the Gov.UK site