· Insights

Eight reasons why you should support employees’ mental health

"Preventing issues before they arise is key," said Bupa Health clinics' head of mental wellbeing

Did you know that one in six people will experience a common mental health problem in any given week? It’s also estimated that 17.1 million workdays were lost between 2022 and 2023 due to work-related stress, depression and anxiety.

Employees are more likely to perform better and take less time off work when they feel good inside. Helping colleagues to make changes at work can help with managing work-related anxiety. So it’s vitally important to support your colleagues’ and employees’ mental health, but it’s also good for business and can help you as a manager.

Here are eight reasons why it’s important to support employees’ mental health:

  1. Work can contribute to changes in mental health. Issues such as discrimination, job uncertainty and a demanding role are all linked to the development of common mental health conditions.
  2. Positive work and line management can help people experiencing mental health conditions.
  3. Employees with high levels of wellbeing are likely to be more creative, loyal, and productive.
  4. Talking openly about mental health can help to reduce the stigma, leading to a greater understanding and an increased likelihood of people seeking support.
  5. Mental health conditions are one of the leading causes of long-term sickness.
  6. Absence and reduced productivity from employees can result in increased workloads for other colleagues.
  7. It’s easier to support employees from the start, rather than wait until they reach crisis point.
  8. Providing effective support for employees experiencing a change in their mental health allows you to employ, retain and get the best from them.

Bringing awareness to mental health

Mental Health Awareness Week took place from 13 to 19 May. This year’s theme was ‘moving more for our mental health’, making sure we’re proactive and protecting our mental health.

Exercise can be a powerful tool for promoting a healthy mind, and can reduce stress and anxiety, but also boost confidence and self-esteem. It can also:

  • Improve sleep quality
  • Help to be more sociable and connect with people, and
  • Improve the way your brain works.

It’s recommended that we all get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week, and find ways to incorporate exercise into our routine, to help improve mental health and quality of life.

Naomi Humber, head of mental wellbeing at Bupa Health clinics, said "Our mental health is determined by a range of factors, impacts every aspect of our life and is intrinsic to our wellbeing. There are many reasons why we should endeavour to routinely engage in strategies to stay resilient.

“Within the workplace, utilising your health benefits and employer’s wellbeing initiatives are an excellent way to help to maintain mental wellness. Being proactive and trying to prevent issues before they arise is particularly key to successfully managing our health.

“Having self-awareness and knowing what is helpful to maintain our own personal wellbeing is an integral component of effective self-management.”

Resources for you and your team

To help you focus on good mental health, we’ve created resources for managers to share with their team, to raise awareness of the importance of looking after people's mental health.

There are line manager support resources and guides, and articles and videos to share with your team. Download our Mental Health Awareness Toolkit.