Mental Health Awareness Week

15 May 2018

Poor mental health of employees costs UK employers between £33 and £42 billion a year according to an independent review of mental health and employers.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and various organisations and charities are running campaigns and offering support. Mind is one such charity and it is focusing on the workplace and how it can help employees and employers create a mentally healthy environment where everyone feels valued and supported. Mind has a range of information, guidance and support on how this can be achieved.

Thriving at Work

The independent review of mental health and employers ‘Thriving at Work’ sets out what employers can do to better support all employees, including those with mental health problems to remain in and thrive through work. It includes a detailed analysis that explores the significant cost of poor mental health to UK businesses and the economy as a whole.

The review quantifies how investing in supporting mental health at work is good for business and productivity.

The most important recommendation is that all employers, regardless of size or industry, should adopt 6 ‘mental health core standards’ that lay basic foundations for an approach to workplace mental health:

  • Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan

  • Develop mental health awareness among employees

  • Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling

  • Provide employees with good working conditions and ensure they have a healthy work life balance and opportunities for development

  • Promote effective people management through line managers and supervisors

  • Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing

The review also details how large employers and the public sector can develop these standards further through a set of ‘mental health enhanced standards’. The review also makes a series of recommendations to government and other bodies.

The report acknowledges that all employees’ mental health should be taken care of in the workplace and the government fully supports that position in their response to the report.


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is to implement the three recommendations made by the review as part of its role in both raising employer awareness of their duty to assess and manage work-related mental ill-health and building on its guidance to help employers deliver the mental health core standards. They will also play a role in supporting local authorities to adopt the same recommendations.

Geographical extent

Many of the policy areas explored within the Thriving at Work report are matters which are devolved to Scotland and Wales as well as to Northern Ireland. Where the activity concerned covers the whole of Great Britain, government will consult with the Scottish and the Welsh Governments on the implementation of the measures. In other cases, it will be the responsibility of the other governments to decide for themselves how they wish to take in the view of different institutions and processes and the respective needs of their citizens.


Further information