1. Awareness: if this is something new in your workplace, remember that 1 in 4 people in Scotland will experience a mental health problem at some point in our lives.
Perhaps start by putting up posters and some leaflets or suggest that your organisation gets involved in Healthy Working Lives.
2. Support: encourage your organisation to use internal or external support for employees (for example the Employee Counselling Service or Breathing Space so that some of those inevitable “tough patches” needn’t mean someone having to take time off or feel excluded from the workplace.
3. Education: there is always scope for people to know more about mental health at work. The Mentally Healthy Workplaces Training provides necessary information for employers while Mental Health First Aid is suitable for all staff.
4. Check It Out: Work Positive contains all sorts of ideas for helping to avoid stress in the workplace. Creating a mentally healthy workplace isn’t necessary rocket-science and can include reviewing your policies (on attendance management or flexible working) and procedures. But much of what can be done is cultural – avoiding a ‘blame culture’ by encouraging reflection and learning; recognising and acknowledging some of the pressures that might be external; talking about mental health so that people feel that they can talk about problems that might be affecting their work.
5. Make Your Commitment Public: sign up to ‘see me’s anti-stigma Pledge and let the world know that you want to end the stigma and discrimination of mental ill-health.
6. And if (when) someone from your staff experiences a mental health problem, there are many ways to make small adjustments to enable the person continue being a valuable member of staff and carry out their duties. In the discrimination law these are called reasonable adjustments (PDF 307Kb). You may also find it helpful to read up on how to manage mental health in the workplace (PDF 846Kb).