Developing your mental health policy

You need to have a clear mental health policy, developed in collaboration with your workers, to show commitment to a mentally healthy workplace.

Why create a mental health policy? 

Fundamental to creating a mentally healthy workplace is strong, supportive leadership and creating a culture that promotes diversity and inclusivity, and encourages open and honest discussion about mental health. 

“Employers need to foster an environment of actually caring about individuals and their feelings and opinions, not just their output/work. Their is still too much 'top down' culture and micromanaging.”
- 2021 survey respondent

Who is responsible for mental health and wellbeing? 

Everyone in your organisation has a responsibility to understand their role in promoting positive mental health and wellbeing.  

Larger organisations might find it useful to have staff members with mental health responsibilities as all or part of their role. 

How do I create a mental health policy? 

It’s important that you write a policy in consultation with your workers and with bodies such as: 

  • trade unions 
  • internal staff networks 
  • membership organisations 

Involving employees in the decision-making processes will not only improve the processes themselves, it will help employees feel more valued, involved and empowered.

“Communication has been great and involved a high level of consultation around changes that support the workforce. This has involved a series of short life working groups.”
- 2021 survey respondent


The 2021 CBI report ‘Keep mental health front of mind’ (PDF) (external site) includes key takeaway tips to consider when developing your mental health policies.

Mind's report on mentally healthy workplaces (PDF) (external site) can also help you to plan your policy. 

Acas has also produced a framework for positive mental health at work (external site). 

See Me in Work (external site) is a programme of support for employers in Scotland committed to creating working environments inclusive of mental health, and free from stigma and discrimination.

The third report in Deloitte’s series on employee mental health reviews the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the mental health of employees and on the cost to employers (external site). 

You can find more information on how to plan for this in the Mental Health at Work Commitment (external site) 

“There needs to be a culture of valuing employees that is expressed from the very top of organisations - evident through the actions of senior leaders, rather than as a formality expressed in formal written communications (newsletters etc). Actions speak louder than words”
- 2021 survey respondent

How do I know my policy is working? 

Each organisation will have a different appropriate way to measure how well your policy is working. It’s important you have a plan for what you’ll do if you find your processes are not working as they should. 


Scottish Government | Riaghaltas na h-Alba |