Information taken from BITC – Mental Health toolkit
Lead from the top.
Prevention and early intervention are the most effective ways to support workforce mental health, rather than tackling problems after they arise. The steps needed to encourage this cultural shift are, in the majority of cases, simple – but they need to be driven at a senior level to help implement lasting change.
Every business must understand that driving a culture where mental health is prioritised cannot be achieved where it is an add-on but only when it is a fundamental part of how the business is run. Unless leaders within your organisation visibly act to promote good mental health then any efforts to affect an organisational change will be undermined.
By leading from the top and agreeing actions at a senior level, employees who will drive the changes will feel that they have the support and authority to tackle stigma and promote positive mental health. Employees are also more likely to open up about their own mental health if there is a clear signal from the business leader or senior management.
Make a commitment
If you can’t talk openly about something, you can’t manage it. This is why we need to see more organisations speaking publicly and across the business to help normalise discussions around mental health and end stigma around mental health at work.
Every plan to promote good mental health and tackle mental health problems requires a public facing commitment that people can buy in to and for which organisations can hold themselves responsible for.
About the Mental Health at Work Commitment
The Mental Health at Work Commitment has been developed by the Thriving at Work Leadership Council and the BITC Wellbeing Leadership Team, which are made up of leading employers across the private, public and voluntary sector along with leading industry bodies and experts in mental health. It draws together key activity, which employers have tried and tested, and provides a single way for employers to navigate the complex workplace wellbeing landscape. Ultimately the Commitment is a simple umbrella framework to improve mental health at work.
The 6 standards that underpin the Commitment are drawn from best practice that has shown to make a difference.
Time to Change is England’s biggest programme to end stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems. The programme is run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. It aims to empower people to challenge stigma and speak openly about their own mental health experiences, as well as changing the attitudes and behaviours of the wider public.
By signing the Employers Pledge, you will be supporting standard 3 of the Mental Health at Work Commitment ‘Promote an open culture around mental health’.
Engage for Success
The leaders of any organisation play a vital role in affecting the culture and helping to ensure everyone can live the values. The way senior leaders behave influences how everyone else does through the organisation.
Engage for Success is a growing movement, promoting employee engagement as a better way to work that benefits individual employees, teams and whole organisations. It has identified four key drivers for engagement:
- having a strong narrative about the organisation from the senior team
- engaged managers
- employees given a voice
- organisational integrity