Mental health in the workplace

Saturday 10 October marks World Mental Health Day with the theme this year ‘Mental Health for All’.

"Now, more than ever, is the time for employers to consider how best they can support themselves and their employees."

For some weeks now mental health experts, including representatives from the charity Mind, have warned of a second pandemic. Recent statistics from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) survey in August showed 43% of employees said their mental health had worsened during the pandemic.

The statistics and the commentary all make for sober reading but, there are steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing. Businesses too have an integral part to play in fostering cultures and behaviours that will help redress this. Corporate culture and communication are central to this along with a clear, business-wide, commitment to not just raise awareness of mental health but also to provide more support services that are easily accessible by employees.

And the effort to reduce any remaining stigma around mental health must surely start with clear, open and inclusive conversations.

"At Audley Group we are especially focused on how we communicate and encourage all team members to talk openly about any challenges they are facing. We take the physical and mental well-being of our employees seriously."

Our approach to supporting employees through our ‘Mental Health Framework’ is an integral part of our corporate strategy, agreed at board level. We have focused on ensuring this is communicated effectively and understood widely by all employees; and not just a policy that sits underneath general HR support. Our aim is to ensure that employees understand our commitment to ‘better mental health for all’ by increasing the level of education, awareness and confidence in what we offer.

Many employers already recognise the value of bespoke support solutions and this has long been the case for Audley Group. We offer a range of support options that employees can be tailored to their individual needs- this has been designed to offer a blend of traditional employee assistance programmes, which we run in house, alongside a range of facilities supplied by third parties.

As part of our ongoing commitment to training, we are developing a toolkit which includes a mix of activities, support services and increased benefits. We continue to make significant investments in our Audley Academy to provide high quality and expertise training. A recent example includes the provision of a mental health first aider training programme across all our locations to provide much needed resource, support and expertise.

Employers are increasingly understanding the importance of regular exercise and the benefits this can bring in terms of boosting self-esteem and enhancing concentration levels. We provide access to health and fitness videos along with mindfulness and meditation tutorials.

The use of new technology is something we embrace across our organisation and, as part of this, we have designed new wellbeing services which include;

  • Intelligent mood tracking and exercises that enables users to learn more about themselves
  • Guidance to help deal with life’s tricky situations
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Self-care toolkit

"Saturday might be a day to stop and recognise how we are all fairing in these unchartered times but the conversation must continue beyond that."

Read more wellbeing tips to consider this World Mental Health Day and beyond.