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Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 which aims to raise awareness and drive positive change for everyone’s mental health.

Given the statistics that approximately 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year and 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions, it is critical that employers support the wellbeing of their staff; to ensure that staff and businesses will flourish.

So how can you do this?

  • Be open, honest and remove the stigma about mental health, championing the topic at all levels of your business.
  • Educate the whole business about mental health- there are a wealth of free resources and guidance available from ACAS and specialist charities such as Mind, Mental Health at Work and Mental Health UK (see below).
  • Train and support managers, who play a critical role in communicating with and supporting staff and spotting mental health issues.
  • Promote a culture of care and collaboration, encouraging team-building and social activities and peer support networks.
  • Don’t forget hybrid or home-working staff who may be less visible and more prone to burnout due to the blurred boundaries between home and work.
  • Encourage staff to focus on self-care and well-being, and model a good work-life balance- work ‘normal’ hours, take regular breaks, avoid excessive overtime, don’t send emails out of hours, do exercise, take holiday…
  • Remind employees of your Employee Assistance Programme or consider investing in an EAP if you don’t yet have one in place.
  • Train mental health first aiders, so that staff have someone to discuss their struggles and fears with confidentially (but make clear that mental health first aiders might need to inform a manager if they believe an employee is at risk). Support your mental health first aiders too!

Every day this week, a member of BPE’s Employment Team will be exploring a key topic relating to mental health in the workplace including:

  • when mental health is a disability and how to avoid discriminating;
  • the wider legal framework for employers, including health and safety and personal injury;
  • tips for managing mental health-related absence and returns to work; and
  • the potential review of the fit note system, especially in relation to mental health,

so please look out for these each day!


Do check out the many free resources on supporting mental health such as:

If you have any questions, or would like to find out more about how our Employment team could help you, please click here.

These notes have been prepared for the purpose of articles only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.

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