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Encouraged by growing industry support for prioritising mental health in the workplace, Mates in Mind renews its call to industry leaders to take a joined-up approach to addressing mental health. This approach will ensure that managers are properly equipped and confident to support conversations about mental health, alongside wider organisational support and understanding.

Whilst acknowledging that tackling the complex challenge of mental ill-health is an issue which has moved up the UK political and boardroom agenda, Mates in Mind believes more needs to be done to transform existing workplace mental health cultures.

Mates in Mind is pleased to witness the positive impacts of initial steps being taken towards improving mental health. A report published by YouGov last year found that 60 per cent of employees feel their line manager is genuinely concerned for their wellbeing (compared to 55 per cent in 2016), and 45 per cent of employees believe that their organisation does well in supporting those with mental health issues (40 per cent in 2016)[1].

However, Mates in Mind also acknowledges that mental ill-health still poses a persistent challenge to UK workforces, with HSE reporting that in 2017/18 there were 15.4 million working days lost as a result of work-related stress anxiety or depression. This equates to 57.3 per cent of the 26.8 million work days lost to ill health[2]. Therefore, Mates in Mind calls on industry leaders to adopt a ‘Whole Organisation’ and ‘Whole Person’ approach that will benefit both the individual as well as the wider business.

On the eve of the national Time to Talk Day, James Rudoni, Managing Director of Mates at Mind said: “At Mates in Mind, we believe that the value of being able to support starting a conversation at work can never be underestimated. This should be seen as part of a long-lasting transformation of workplace mental health, through which organisations can go beyond tackling a crisis of mental ill-health and act to prevent it in the first instance. As a result, we believe addressing mental health in the workplace is underpinned by both a strong moral as well as business case.

“We are delighted to have more than 200 Business Supporters and Partners, reaching out through them to more than 187,500 individual workers, helping to improve awareness and create safe environments in which such conversations can take place.

“We continue to encourage business leaders not only to take the time to start the conversation in their workplaces, but also ask them to recognise this as a true investment in their people and their business overall. We stress the importance of taking a joined-up approach and importantly supporting their managers to help facilitate such conversations. After all, managers are a reflection of their business’ priorities and values and therefore need to be able to demonstrate that their businesses are serious about their people’s health and wellbeing.”

“Mates in Mind has always advocated an approach that includes developing awareness and skills for those managing people within workplaces, to whom many employees are likely to turn to when they need to start a conversation about their mental health. We welcome the opportunity to work with others across all industries and encourage them to reach out to us.”

The Mates in Mind support programme offers a wide range of services that enable businesses of any size to promote positive mental health in the workplace, equip staff at all levels to support colleagues though the Start the Conversation training. Contact Mates in Mind and become part of the change that is needed in your business.