Businesses have a vital role to play in signposting employees to emotional support services, says Mel Joseph, founder of the workplace mental health organisation, Mente.
"Signposting simply means informing people about where they can access more information and help from," says Mel. "Alongside treatments recommended by the NHS for mental health problems, there's a wealth of further support services, such as helplines, chatrooms and educational websites. Signposting is just directing someone to the services that are available to them."
Previous research has found that 68% of people are unaware of what support services are available to them, and 81% report that the negative stigma around mental health problems delays or stops them seeking support. What's more, because UK employees spend so much time at work, the workplace is a central place where signposting can occur.
"Britons work some of the longest hours in Europe, so the workplace is a key place where you can spot if people are struggling, and signpost them to the right support. If businesses don't act supportively, they can see high absence levels as a result of poor mental health and stress."
Mente have recently launched a new stress risk assessment tool, which helps businesses to manage stress compliantly and effectively. Writing down and storing a risk assessment for stress is a legal requirement for companies with more than five employees, and Mente urge businesses to check their stress risk assessments are up-to-date and thorough.