What should be included in a mental health policy?

31.03.2022

Did you know that 822,000 workers suffered from work-related stress, depression, or anxiety in 2020/21? Additionally, new cases of work-related mental ill-health rose by 50% last year, according to the HSE.

From absence and burnout to accidents and presenteeism (when an employee is present at work when unwell), poor mental health has a huge impact on UK businesses – costing up to £45 billion a year!

For this reason, many organisations are opting to implement a mental health policy to promote positive wellbeing at work and are discovering how it can pay back.

What is a mental health policy?

A mental health policy is a written document that outlines an organisation’s approach to mental health. It provides benchmarks for ensuring mental health issues can be prevented or treated, as well as ensuring positive mental health is promoted.

This policy should apply to every member of staff. It is up to the employer to ensure the policy is effectively communicated and implemented across the company.

What should be included?

A mental health policy should highlight what you, as a business, intend to do to acknowledge and support the wellbeing of your employees. Here are some examples of what could be included in a mental health policy:

  • How you will address work-related stress and stress-related absences
    • Whether a medical referral is necessary for the circumstances
    • What further action may be required
  • What you will do to promote positive wellbeing (training or awareness days)
  • Contact details of your mental health first aiders/champions

Benefits of positive mental health in the workplace

Work is a massively influential factor in the wellbeing of a person. Although there is evidence to suggest that those who work are happier and healthier, it’s important to recognise that work can also have a negative effect on a person’s wellbeing.

With that said, workplaces should aim to create an environment that fosters good mental wellbeing and eliminates or minimises those factors that can have a negative impact on mental health.

This offers a number of benefits for organisations, including:

  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Higher staff retention rates
  • Higher levels of performance
  • Increased productivity
  • Work towards legal compliance

How can QMS help?

We understand the importance of protecting the wellbeing of all employees. Taking decisive action to keep your workforce happy and motivated can boost productivity, reduce absence, improve recruitment and retention, and ultimately save money.

With the release of the ISO 45003 Standard in June 2021, we’ve already helped numerous organisations to implement on occupational health and safety management system that addresses psychosocial risks in the workplace. This can help show your employees, customers, clients, and stakeholders that you’re building a positive work environment and actively preventing work-related ill-health.

Additionally, ISO 45003 aligns with several other Standards – including ISO 9001, 14001, and 45001 – making them easier to achieve.

 

If you would like to find out more about ISOs and their requirements, you can visit our dedicated product pages for ISO 45003, or give the QMS team a call today on 0333 344 3646.

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About the author

  • Name:

    Jack Rosier

  • Company:

    QMS International

  • Bio:

    Jack has worked for QMS since 2022, writing creative and informative content on ISO certification and consultation to help businesses reach their potential.

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