Mental health support launched for smaller employers

Mind launches mental health training for SMEs, with backing from the Federation of Small Businesses.

Mental Health - a women holding her head


Mind has launched free online training for small to medium sized organisations to promote better wellbeing in the workplace.

The aim of the Mental Health for Small Workplaces training, funded by the Royal Foundation, is to build staff confidence in thinking and talking about mental health.

It includes three quick training modules consisting of: building your awareness, tips to look after yourself and tips to support colleagues.

Each module takes 20 minutes to complete and there is also a guide alongside to help employers roll out the training successfully in their organisations.

Staff absence and mental health

Mind says poor mental health is now the number one reason for staff absence. Mind says its research shows 48 per cent of the more than 43,000 people it surveyed said they have experienced a mental health problem in their current job.

Only half of those who had experienced poor mental health had talked to their employer about it.

Of the 13 per cent who said their mental health was poor, 82 per cent said that this was work-related – either due solely to problems at work, or a combination of problems at work and outside of work.

One of the big issues is stress and the always on, presenteeism culture in some workplaces where people struggle into work despite physical and mental health problems.

A recent Health and Well-Being at Work Survey Report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that more than four-fifths (83%) of respondents had observed presenteeism in their organisation and a quarter (25%) said the problem had worsened since the previous year.

Today’s Guardian reports on the costs of overworking employees, which is responsible for a quarter of all sick days. Will Stronge, co-founder of the Autonomy think tank, observes that the culture of long hours fostered by American and Chinese firms, as well as by City banks and law firms, is “part of the ideology, and the dominant narrative that entrepreneurialism and long working hours come hand in hand.”

He says: “Actually, it’s not the case. It doesn’t make business sense to work workers to the bone.”

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