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January is often seen as the most depressing month of the year, with the January Blues and Blue Monday making their appearances.

As we enter February with possible failed new year resolutions, miserable and cold weather and spring feeling a far cry away, employees can be feeling a big weight already on their mental health and wellbeing.

Time to Talk Day it is an important opportunity to recognise wellbeing and raise awareness of the conversation around mental health, particularly in the workplace.

Talking about mental health can be hard for employees and employers, but the conversation can be very powerful to have positive change.

For employers, poor wellbeing and mental health can lead to:

  • Lengthy sickness absences
  • Poor productivity and morale
  • Increased staff burnout
  • Poor staff retention rates


Importantly, employers also have a duty of care to protect the physical and psychological health, safety and welfare of their staff while at work.

Typically 25% of us will experience a mental health problem each year, making it important to create an open environment to recognise and signpost staff to help.

A well designed wellbeing and mental health policy can support staff in the workplace to recognise the importance of good mental health and wellbeing to open the conversation for seeking support if needed.

A policy is best created in discussion with staff where possible to include:

  • Monitoring of working hours to make sure staff are not overworking
  • Monitoring holidays to ensure staff are using their entitlement
  • Creating specific stress risk assessments
  • facilitate requests for flexible working where reasonably practicable
  • training to recognise work-related stress and mental ill health
  • providing support to staff affected by poor wellbeing such as an employee assistance programme


In addition, a wellbeing and mental health policy can provide managers guidance to have difficult conversations with confidence.

Tips on wellbeing in the workplace can include:

  • Walk and Talk lunch groups
  • promoting healthy diets in the office
  • welfare one-to-ones with individual staff
  • dress-down days
  • mental health first aiders
  • bring your dog to the office days (Meet our office dog, Chilli here)


Most importantly we believe a holistic approach based on individual needs is required to ensure wellbeing stays at the forefront, allowing staff to be effectively managed and supported.

We can help draft no-jargon policies that enable employers to handle wellbeing and mental health in the workplace confidently. We can also provide training for managers to utilise these policies and maximise their employee’s wellbeing and productivity at work.

For advice on the legal and HR guidance for wellbeing at work please contact us on 0333 888 1360 or complete the enquiry form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


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