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28 September 2023

5 Ways to Support Employee Mental Health

2023 has been hard on the mental health of working people. With World Mental Health Day on the horizon, organisations have a valuable opportunity to demonstrate that employee wellbeing remains a business priority.

In this article, Sandra Ordel (Business Psychologist) shares five key strategies to support employee mental health.

This year, 67% of employees report stagnant or worsened mental health. As World Mental Health Day 2023 approaches, there is an opportunity for organisations to put the focus back onto employee mental health. In this article, Sandra Ordel (Business Psychologist) offers five practical strategies that organisations can implement to support their people.

1. Build awareness of mental health

Mental health awareness training can make the difference between an employee feeling overwhelmed and unsupported and equipped and empowered. For maximum impact, look for training that covers a wide range of themes. These include:

  • Basic mental health awareness
  • Recognising dips in mental health
  • Protective and risk factors
  • How to help someone who’s struggling
  • Practical tools for managing mental health

2. Create a strong peer-to-peer support network

Wellbeing Champions and Mental Health First Aiders both contribute to creating a supportive culture for mental health. Wellbeing Champions proactively support all aspects of wellbeing and encourage healthy habit building. Mental Health First Aiders provider early intervention and support to those are struggling.

To find out more, read our article Wellbeing Champions vs Mental Health First Aiders.

3. Provide access to counselling support

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and counselling services offer employees valuable professional support when they’re struggling. Combining proactive approaches with responsive support systems ensures that organisations create an environment where mental health is not only valued but also effectively safeguarded.

4. Engage your managers

Employees spend more time with their managers than anyone else. Yet, 60% of employees feel uncomfortable approaching their managers with mental health concerns. To address this gap, consider training your managers on how to support team wellbeing.

Crucial skills for managers include how to:

  • Recognise when a team member is struggling,
  • Hold a wellbeing conversation
  • Positively influence employee mental health
  • Effectively signpost to relevant and useful support

Developing these skills enhances managers’ ability to support. It creates a psychologically safe environment where employees feel safe and empowered to bring their authentic selves to work.

5. Lead from the top

How your leaders approach mental health sets the tone. That’s why it’s important to encourage leaders to be part of the conversation. This could include openly discussing mental health or even sharing their personal experiences. When leaders visibly support mental health, it conveys a powerful message that mental health is a priority and goes a long way to tackling stigma.


Supporting employee mental health goes beyond a single webinar, or one-off initiative. It involves a sustained commitment from the whole organisation management and senior leadership to understanding and supporting employees through the challenges they face. We’re here to help you build a mentally healthy culture where your people thrive. To find out more about how we can support your organisation, enquire now.

About the author

SANDRA ORDEL is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist at The Wellbeing Project. She has extensive consulting experience within a wide range of organisations and industry sectors.

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