Hello and welcome to the second issue of the Ryder Partnership Ltd fortnightly newsletter
The Alchemist, in which we will keep you up to date on all the latest developments
in the world of health and safety.

This issue focuses on mental health in the work place, and in the spirit of giving everyone time to get prepared for it, we look at Mental Health Day 2023, which falls on

Tuesday 10th October.

The day is organised and promoted by the Mental Health Foundation.

The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on 10 October each year. The theme of 2023’s World Mental Health Day, set by the World Federation for Mental Health is Mental health is a universal human right’.

For over 70 years, the Foundation has been working to make sure that mental health is treated equally with physical health. Mental health problems exist in our lives, families, workplaces and communities, affecting everyone.

World Mental Health Day is also a chance to tackle the stigma by talking in general – how we need to look after it, and how important it is to talk and get help if you are struggling.

You can find out how you can get involved by clicking the link which will lead you to the Mental Health Day website.


Why is employee mental health important?

Mental health is a state of wellbeing that allows someone to cope with everyday challenges and contribute to society in a productive and meaningful way. When someone’s mental and physical health are working harmoniously, the individual is able to enjoy a fulfilling personal life and achieve their goals in a stable manner.

Good mental health, however, does not stop at someone’s private life. It can spill over into their professional life too, and can even impact the results of the team that they are part of. A team made of happy, fulfilled employees is more productive, creative, resilient, able to face unexpected stressors and more capable to overcome difficult situations.

In the light of the most recent global events, mental health has become more important than ever. We have reached a time where companies simply cannot afford to ignore the importance of employees wellbeing within the workplace. We all have too much to adjust to, and it is crucial that we work in environments that support us to progress at a sustainable pace.


The benefits of supporting mental health in the workplace/

There are many ways to help support a persons mental health, but the ways in which you do, should fit in with your company culture. You need to be confident in whichever ways you decide on, as it could be disastrous in the long run if your approach is not implemented correctly or lies dormant. Crucially leaders must actively support whatever you choose to do.

In the UK, 30-40% of employee sickness is caused by a form of mental illness. As more businesses have started implementing mental health initiatives in the workplace, the first data has already begun to appear. Supporting employee mental health leads to decreased absenteeism rates and increases productivity by 12%.

Creating a supportive work environment where employees can thrive reduces staff turnover rates and reduces costs associated with hiring and training new personnel. Implementing any form of mental health support is not an extra cost for companies – it is an investment that greatly pays off in the long run.

The biggest reward of prioritising your staffs mental health comes from having a team of happy, resilient, and balanced employees. In turn, they bring more exciting results such as:

Increased employee retention and loyalty,

Improved productivity and motivation.


6 Workplace Mental Health Initiatives to Implement

1.  Mental health training for managers

Managers are the first ones who deal with problems arising from poor workplace mental health, such as conflicts, absenteeism, or low performance. However, they might lack the confidence themselves to deal with such complex problems. It is unrealistic to expect managers to be highly professional when dealing with problems without the correct training.

For this reason, it is crucial for organisations to invest resources into helping managers tackle mental health challenges in the workplace. A mental health first aid course can help people understand and respond to someone who might deal with an underlying mental health issue appropriately. In turn this can be the beginning of a more positive workplace culture.

2.    Flexible working opportunities

Allowing employees to work from home can improve their work-life balance, decrease stress levels, and enhance productivity. People feel more in control of their environment when they have the opportunity to choose between commuting to their job or turning their living rooms into an office. Besides, employees feel trusted and appreciated when their employer knows they can deliver the same results when working by themselves.

3.    Physical activity programmes

It’s no longer a secret that the mind and body work together as a whole. Studies tell us that physical activity plays a key role in mental wellbeing. It reduces stress, relieves anxiety, and boost overall wellness through the release of endorphins and serotonin.

Companies should ensure that employees are offered initiatives that motivates them to engage in regular physical activity as part of their mental health support. This can be done in the form of events, raising money for charities, or team activities.

4.   Raising mental health awareness in the workplace

Adequate informational materials and resources such as brochures, emails, fact checks and training workshops that help raise the awareness can be useful. When it comes to mental health, many people still perceive this topic as a taboo issue, which can prevent open conversation about it. When mental health becomes a normal topic of conversation that everyone is familiar with, employees will feel less ashamed about sharing personal struggles or responding to someone dealing with mental health issues.

5.    Offering mental health support and screening

Employee therapy support should no longer be seen as an optional tool in the workplace, but rather as a compulsory measure that prevents sickness and absenteeism. Companies can get in touch with mental health providers that provide online therapy and mental health support.

Mental health support can offer tools and resources that can maintain workplace well being, such as screening questionnaires for mental illnesses, self-help tools, therapy sessions, and overall wellness support. It is crucial for employees to know that there is someone they can talk to when they feel overwhelmed.

6.    Setting up an employee recognition programme

Everyone wants to feel that their efforts are appreciated. Hearing ‘you’ve done a great job’ can make someone’s day. Despite this, many workplaces still focus on negative aspects and only highlight situations where people fail to meet expectations. Rolling out an employee recognition programme can be a way to recognise efforts and accomplishments of the workforce.

Some of the ways in which organisations can implement recognitions are: 

– Offering promotions and new titles

– One-on-one thank you meetings

– Sending congratulatory emails

– An employee of the month programme.

If you wish to talk with us about any of these initiatives and how we may be of assistance please get in touch!


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