The Mental Health at Work Commitment is transforming UK workplaces – but more needs to be done
Senior Comms and Marketing Officer, Mental Health at Work
As you probably know, the Mental Health at Work Commitment is a simple framework to support employers in making a positive change around mental health. It builds on what we already know actually works: based on the Thriving at Work standards, pulling from the pledges and standards that are already out there, and using up-to-date research from UK employers and mental health experts.
Launched in 2019, we’ve seen almost 3,000 employers sign up – which means that over 5 million people at work are actively being supported with their mental health.
But what do signatories think of the Commitment, really? And how is it supporting them? Earlier this year, we conducted a survey of 160 organisations to gather insights about those who’ve signed up in 2023. We did this to understand how they’re prioritising and improving employee mental health across their organisations, comparing the results with our last survey two years ago.
People are more confident now than ever
86% of employers said that they signed the Commitment because they wanted to show employees that their mental health is important. This was the highest driver for signing the Commitment, consistent with our findings from our last survey in 2021. So – organisations are keeping their people at the heart of their decision to improve wellbeing. We’re chuffed about this.
Across all sizes of employers, signatories reported that they felt more capable of achieving the Mental Health at Work Commitment Standards now than they did two years ago. With the launch of our Peer Platform and an email journey to help guide you through the Standards, we’re really pleased to see that people are more confident now than ever in making a positive change around mental health where they work.
79% of organisations are regularly using the Mental Health at Work website to achieve the Commitment Standards – we’ve seen growth in knowing where to go for support in implementing next steps, at 82% vs 66% in 2021. The Mental Health at Work website is a key driver to fulfilling the Commitment Standards, so it’s brilliant to see all the great content being accessed and used.
But there’s more to be done.
Although 86% of employers stated that signalling to employees of the importance they place in good mental health, a quarter aren’t communicating to their staff about their plans and progress around the Commitment. So, how can and should employers share their mental health strategy and success? Utilising internal comms channels is key here, and, as a leader, standing up and reinforcing that signing the Commitment wasn’t just a tick-box exercise.
Micro-organisations benefit from more specific advice
The survey shows that the smaller the employer, the less likely they are to feel confident in producing and implementing an achievable mental health plan. We know that micro-organisations would benefit from more specific advice and tools to support them in achieving the Commitment, and we’ll seek to deliver just that.
The Mental Health at Work Commitment is the only roadmap you need to follow to achieve better mental health at work. Find out more and sign here.
To help you put the Commitment into action, Mental Health at Work have developed a series of resources as a starting point. You can also join our Peer Platform for additional support for others on their Commitment journey.