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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Five Ways to Promote Mental Health in the Workplace

Advice for employers

Tracey  Marshall  avatar

Written by Tracey Marshall

Like many UK employers, the REC is participating in Mental Health Awareness Week. It’s all about helping our team understand the factors that affect mental health in the workplace.

This is a really important issue – in a recent report by our business partner Howden, 60% of UK chief executives said that mental health is the area of employee wellbeing they are most concerned about

Here are a few initiatives we have introduced at the REC to promote the wellbeing and mental health of our staff during these challenging times. 

 1.       Mental Health Champions

We have several qualified Mental Health First Aiders within our staff, who are on hand to give assistance to anyone in need of advice, support or a conversation. They are also there to spot the signs of someone who may have poor mental health.

 2.       Access to training

We have launched a new online training portal that emphasizes the importance of mindfulness and wellbeing. The portal includes video guides about mindfulness, tips on reducing anxiety – all available to watch if you want to learn about how to stay stress-free.

 3.       Exercise

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. It can help relieve stress, improves memory, helps with sleep, and boosts your overall mood. At the REC we’re offering virtual yoga sessions to our staff during this Mental Health Awareness Week.

 4.       Healthy eating

We trialed free fruit for staff during Mental Health Awareness Week last year, and it was such a hit that we now have two weekly fruit deliveries to the office (when we were working in our offices). Eating fruit, improves concentration, and decreases stress and anxiety levels so it’s great for boosting our mental health. 

5.      Sharing experiences

During the last Mental Health Awareness Week we asked colleagues to share their experiences with mental health. We’ve had some powerful stories from staff, and it’s helped us create a culture where mental health is acknowledged. We want staff to feel able to discuss mental health and to support each other. This mental health awareness week, we're encouraging staff to share their stories relating to being in lockdown/working remotely and how it has affected their mental health.

During this special Mental Health Awareness week, we have an exciting week planned to make sure we look after each other even when we're apart:

  • Virtual Yoga sessions
  • Random acts of kindness to tie in with the MHAW theme of kindness – Staff are encouraged to do acts of kindness during the week and at the end of the week we'll take a look back at our favourites and share them with all staff!
  • Coffee Roulette where everyone in the organisation is paired with someone at random and they have to take time out during the week to connect with each other and have a conversation to step away from work and take some time out
  • Virtual mindfulness sessions
  • Daily tips to promote good mental health

We can all have bad days and things don’t always go to plan, but it’s what happens from there that’s the key. Doing some of these things can help avoid a bad day turning into a bad week or a bad month. Addressing mental health issues in their early stages is the best way of preventing them from escalating.

Updated on 18 May 2020 for accuracy and freshness.

Webinar: Getting back to work after COVID-19 - developing positive mindsets

Join us for a #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek special webinar where we discuss strategies to develop positive mindsets as you prepare your people to get back to work.