This standard has three parts:
1. Proactively change the way people think and act about mental health by increasing awareness and challenging mental health stigma.
2. Empower employees to champion mental health and positively role model in the workplace.
3. Encourage open two-way conversations about mental health and highlight the support available at all stages of employment.
The three parts are closely related: one of the best ways to raise awareness about mental health, and challenge stigma, is to encourage conversation about it. This is the message at the heart of initiatives like This Is Me and Time To Talk Day. Another key way is to empower individuals in an organisation to take an active role in championing the issue – from holding wellbeing fairs, quizzes and pledge walls to encouraging each other to learn, give and exercise more. That’s the basis of anti-stigma activities like mental health champions and their industry-specific equivalents.
Both help create a culture where people feel able to come forward if they need support. It’s clear that passionate employees and volunteers, at any level of the organisation, are often the drivers of that cultural change. This is the story behind most of the case studies here on Mental Health at Work.
But employers have a role to play here. By fostering an environment in which these conversations can take place, and supporting grassroots enthusiasm to champion mental health issues, they can play an integral role in keeping staff well.
Letting people feel able to talk can make all the difference in the world. For some it's easier said than done, but we can all play a part in giving the message that mentioning mental health is OK.
Environmental, Health and Safety Training Manager,