New guide from ACAS, Promoting Positive Mental health in the Workplace.

Mental health in the workplace

The Government's Department of Health advises that one in four of us will experience mental ill health at some point in our lives. It is therefore important that employers and their staff take steps to promote positive mental health and support those experiencing mental ill health.

What is mental health?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental ill health can range from feeling 'a bit down' to common disorders such as anxiety and depression to more severe and far less common conditions such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Most people's mental health will not just be continuously good. Usually it will rise and fall depending on pressures and/or experiences in their life. A person may therefore feel in good mental health generally but also experience stress or anxiety from time to time.

To help employers and their managers in this area Acas currently have guidance for employers and managers on:

• Promoting positive mental health in the workplace: outlining a step by step approach to improve the mental health of staff and provide support processes for staff that experience mental ill health

• Managing staff experiencing mental ill health: providing guidance for a manager who thinks a team may be experiencing mental ill health. It includes information on spotting the signs that a team member may be experiencing mental ill health, tips on how to approach talking to them about their mental health and how to support them in their recovery

• Dealing with stress in the workplace: explains the causes of work-related stress and how to approach reducing this in your workplace. It also provides guidance on spotting a team member that may be experiencing stress, how to approach talking to them and support them

• Managing anxiety in the workplace: outlines what anxiety is and what signs may indicate a team member is experiencing anxiety.

Full information is available here

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