Many business leaders assume that the mental health of their employees is none of their business or it shouldn’t be prioritised at work. But that is far from true. In fact, most businesses could improve mental health at work.

Employers benefit greatly when they help employees and prioritise mental health and wellbeing. Reduce the stigma of mental health issues by providing support through wellness programs.

Helping employees improve their mental health could be one of the most important steps an employer can take to improve an individual’s wellbeing, as well as the health of the entire organisation.

This Wellspace blog is designed to help bridge the stigma of mental health in work and help employers prioritise wellness programs to greatly benefit their employees.

How Do You Approach An Employee About Mental Health?

So how do you approach talking about a topic that can make even the bravest leaders worry about overstepping the mark? Here are three ways:

Talk About Health Holistically

When talking about mental health, don’t make it a big deal. Talk about it like you would if someone had a sore back or hay fever. Ask your employees how they are. Eliminate the stigma.

“It sounds like your back pain is getting better. That’s good news. And how’s your mental health these days? I know these can be very stressful times — and please let me know if I’m overstepping.”

Don’t Try To Fix People

Leaders often think succeeding is by navigating difficult situations and solving complex problems. But people don’t like to be “fixed,” So we wouldn’t recommend this approach. You want to be a bridge to resources, rather than being the resource yourself.

If someone shares that they are struggling, try saying “How can I support you without overstepping?” or “Let’s discuss the resources we have available here, and what else you might need.”


We don’t say listen light-hearted; we mean it. Really listen to your employees. It’s not enough to just listen, you need to do it well.

If you want to create an environment where your employees feel heard, respected, and cared for, then listen.

How Can Employers Improve Mental Health In Work?

Employers can take steps to help employees build mental strength and resilience so they can stay as healthy as possible. Here are a few strategies business leaders can use to create a mentally healthy workplace:

Promote A Work/Life Balance

Praise employees who work late and arrive early. Expecting them to work from home in the evenings hurts your company and them in the long run. Without a healthy work/life balance, productivity is likely to decline, and employees are more likely to burn out.

Encourage employees to regularly have broken away or holidays. Ensure they unplug and completely switch off from the office. When your employees have a great life outside of work I will be reiterated with their mood in the workplace.

Discuss Mental Health In The Workplace

Reiterating the approach to take with your employees needs to be company culture. Eliminate the elephant in the room. Don’t be afraid to talk about stress, depression, anxiety, or other mental health illnesses at work.

Make it clear everyone struggles to stay mentally healthy sometimes.

Three colleagues at work all smiling at each other

Ensure Your Employees Take Breaks

It can be tempting to not have a proper lunch break when workloads are high, and deadlines are looming. However, make sure your employees take breaks away from the desk. Encouraging regular breaks whenever possible helps staff destress and reset.

According to research, taking lunch breaks can help increase productivity, improve wellbeing, boost creativity and relieve the pressure on your mental health at work. Beyond breaks, highlight healthy activities; for instance, employees can go for a walk, exercise, and socialise with colleagues.

Educate Management In Mental Health

Management training shouldn’t solely focus on making a profit, it should also include getting the best out of your team. In doing so, you need mutual respect, understanding and happiness. Support line managers and agree that information should be confidential however their wellbeing must be a top priority.

Assets to businesses are employees who actively want to help with mental health problems. Chances are they have their own experiences that have set them up as trustworthy and compassionate support.

You might want to consider mental health first aid training to support your colleagues.

Wellspace: The Best Workplace App

From working in the health and safety sector, we saw an outstanding gap and reactionary behaviour within the workplace. Wellbeing and mental health at work was being left behind.

Therefore, we have designed a workplace wellbeing app to revolutionise the workplace. Employees are encouraged to participate to help create healthy habits to ultimately improve their overall wellbeing.

Get In Touch

If you want to bring your best team to work, then relish our workplace app and contact one of our team today. We’d love to meet you and understand your company’s corporate wellness goals for this year!

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