Mental Health Conversations

In recent years, there has been increasing awareness of the importance of making mental health conversations part of business as usual within organisations. Globally, an estimated 12 billion working days are lost every year to anxiety and depression, costing over US$ 1 trillion in lost productivity (WHO, 2022) – and we know that the impact of the pandemic on mental health was significant and, for some, long lasting. As illustrated by inclusion of mental health in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the link between mental wellness and productivity, purpose and potential is clear – so how do we bring this conversation into our workplaces in a way that supports individuals, develops team understanding and strengthens our organisations overall?

Most organisations have core values, policies and procedures that govern sickness absence and many have internal or external sources of support for health and wellbeing. But what happens ‘on the ground’ – when a manager and direct report sit down together to talk about a mental health problem, when a manager needs to explain colleague absence to the rest of the team, or when an individual feels they can’t speak up for fear of consequences? And how can we encourage colleagues across our organisations to take an active role in reducing stigma, and equip them with the skills and confidence to have effective and supportive mental health conversations?

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Being able to spot the signs of potential mental health challenges in ourselves and our colleagues can play a vital part in reducing the damaging impact of mental ill health. But many people are afraid to engage in conversations about mental health, or they think it’s someone else’s responsibility to support a colleague in need. But it’s crucial we all play our part in identifying potential mental health concerns and supporting our colleagues to get the help they may need.

Key learning outcomes could include:

  • Looking at ways to reduce the stigma of talking about mental health
  • Raising awareness of how to spot the signs when someone is being affected by poor mental health
  • Understanding effective ways to support and manage a colleague when they are emotionally distressed
  • Exploring ways to support ourselves and our team members, when managing a mental health issue at work
  • Sharing views on how to create a culture where mental health is discussed and supported.

Our programmes are bespoke, so we are able to tailor the right approach to suit any environment and any cohort, and we can adapt the content to suit organisational/individual colleague ‘readiness’ – something which is crucial to any development or change programme.

Whether you are looking to develop something live in room, delivered live virtually or via bitesize, modular e-learning – we can develop engaging, meaningful and impactful content that will help support mental health conversations within your organisation.

Please talk to us – our details are on this contact form.

I think the training delivered by Steps is the best customer relations training I’ve ever seen or experienced. To get experienced bus drivers so engaged and motivated using actors to simulate real experiences is just brilliant. It’s worth seeing the two day course to see how good it is!

Sir Peter Hendy CBE
Chair, Network Rail, Customer Experience Training for London Bus Drivers

I was very pleased with the project – as were the other HR people involved… The Steps team delivered a series of high-quality, tailored sessions in a very tight time-frame…

Head of Diversity & Inclusion, APAC Region, Global Investment Bank

The feedback is always so positive following Steps’ sessions. These complex topics are not always easy to broach but the lessons and guidance are imparted in such an engaging and collaborative manner that even the most reticent soon find it a comfortable environment in which to participate and engage.

Adrian Carey
Staff Officer Operations, RNLI