New draft guidance released recently by Public Health England (PHE) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) recommends that employers should provide all line managers with systematic support in mental health and communication skills training.
Training would provide managers with the knowledge, tools, skills and resources to improve awareness of mental wellbeing at work and employees’ understanding of, and engagement in, organisational decisions.
The draft also includes recommendations for organisational and individual-level approaches to mental wellbeing in the workplace, employee engagement, and support in and outside the workplace.
It suggested firms consider a group approach for delivering mental health training be it either face to face or using an online format, citing a Deloitte report from January 2020 that estimated poor mental health among employees costs UK employers between £42bn and £45bn each year.
Nice and PHE also cited the 2018 Business in the Community report, Mental Health at Work, which found that less than a third (30 per cent) of managers have received training on mental wellbeing at work.
As well as giving managers the skills they need to open conversations with employees about mental wellbeing concerns, Nice and PHE said there was evidence that manager training could help to reduce workplace stigma around mental health and make managers more confident in identifying and supporting employees who may be at risk of poor mental health.
The recommendations also said managers need to be empowered to adjust workloads to reduce stressors for employees as well as highlighting the value of peer-to-peer support for managers.
RBHR has been championing mental health support for all levels for some time and has been providing certified training to clients, in a variety of sectors, both online and in person. If you might be interested in finding out more about this and other training options, please feel free to reach out to us.