As we all begin to return to the office, Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity to think about the things in the work place that contribute to good mental health. The struggles of the past year have impacted on us all, and many employees, having been persuaded to stay at home and indeed work from home for long periods, are finding it hard to now think about returning to the office.

Things are gradually returning to normal but many employees continue to face challenges that impact on work. Many of you will recognise the anxiety many people are feeling, and implementing a phased return to office work or even arrangements for working flexibly.

Occupational Health plays an important role in helping you manage employees with mental health problems – up to 70% of referrals to our services are for those experiencing mental distress and, in many cases, a diagnosed mental health problem. A significant proportion of these employees will be suffering from ‘stress’ relating to situations at work. Whilst there is a clear health process for advising you on actions to resolve work stressors for individuals – how can managers become better adept at managing more effectively?

At Sarsen Health we have been talking to Woking Mind and looking at the range of initiatives available to help support your managers in doing the most difficult aspect of their job – managing people.

Woking Mind are offering a broad three step approach to evaluation, prevention and training, to help you ensure that you are preventing as many mental health problems as possible – and maximising the performance of your organisation.

The evaluation process focuses on a survey to review policies, behaviours and attitudes within your organisation, with outputs providing guidance on areas of strength and weakness. The results are then used to help you create an ongoing proactive wellbeing strategy – A Wellbeing Action Plan.

Woking Mind can support all aspects of the implementation of this plan and drive improved organisational performance. You will be supported in producing the Wellbeing Action Plan to include appropriate policies, facilities and procedures that can be monitored based on identified targets such as staff health, stress and motivation. For the organisation targets could be set on higher productivity, reduced absences, lower staff turnover, and higher performance. For more information, contact Woking Mind –

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends workplace wellbeing programs:

  • Make health and wellbeing a core priority at the top of the organisation
  • Value the strategic importance and benefits of a healthy workplace
  • Encourage a consistent, positive, and preventative approach to employee health and wellbeing
  • Include employee participation in planning, and implementation of wellbeing strategies