A practical guide for line managers who support staff with mental health conditions

shutterstock_62103313 frustrated businesswoman

Stress, anxiety and depression cause more working days lost than any other health problem. The financial cost to British business of mental ill health is an estimated £26 billion per year – that’s equivalent to £1,035 for every employee – and some place it as high as £40 billion.

This new guide published by Devon Partnership NHS Trust provides practical information and guidance on how to support staff who experience stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions.

The guide covers topics such as:

  • Mental health conditions and recovery
  • Mentally healthy workplaces
  • The importance of talking in the workplace
  • Keeping in touch during sickness absence
  • Planning a return to work and reasonable adjustments
  • Sources of other information, help and training

The report foreword sets out the context for this work:

This guide comes out of a respected collaboration between employers in the public, private and voluntary sectors and an NHS vocational service. It is a further step to achieving openness in recognising and responding to the needs of people at work who bear the burden and threats of a mental health condition.

Despite the common experience of mental health problems, people are reluctant to admit them. A fear of stigmatisation and discrimination often means that working people hesitate to look for support from their employer and, most importantly, from their line manager. Yet these are the people who are best placed to recognise workplace factors that influence mental wellbeing and in a position to give the support and take the action necessary to enable recovery.

Mindful Employer – Line Managers’ Resource: A practical guide to supporting staff with a mental health condition (PDF). Mindful Employer, Devon Partnership NHS Trust 2011.

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