This guide contains information, practical advice and conversation checklists for managers to better support those experiencing stress and mental health issues.

The guide addresses all aspects of employment, from recruitment, managing mental health at work, to supporting return to work after a period of absence. It will help managers facilitate conversations and put in place support so employees can stay well and in work – meaning better performance and improved retention of talent and expertise. The guide also sets out the practical steps that employers can take to create a mentally healthy workplace.

Who is this guide for?

We know employers come in all shapes and sizes, with different working practices, workforces and working environments. This guide is designed to support anyone involved in managing people, from line managers in large organisations to owner-managers of small firms. We also hope it will be a useful professional resource for HR and occupational health teams. 

While the contexts will differ, we hope the principles, checklists and practical advice will be useful across the board and easily adaptable for different workplace environments and relationships. The guide can be used both as a handy outline for individual managers to consult in their day-to-day roles and incorporated into HR policies and practices to be integrated across teams and organisations.

Please note that we are not providing legal advice, but practical guidance – employers may also need to obtain their own legal advice on the approach to take in any particular case.

  This guide has been jointly developed by mental health charity Mind and the CIPD

Useful definitions

Purpose of this guide

What is mental health?

Why does good mental health matter? The business case

Good practice in recruitment

Prevention: helping people to stay well and manage stress

Early intervention: spotting the signs of stress and poor mental health

Encouraging people to talk about their mental health: supporting staff to stay well and in work

Supporting people to return to work

Managing performance

Case studies

Acknowledgements

Mind and the CIPD are grateful to the employers, employees, disclosure experts and people with experience of mental health problems who gave their time to provide advice and feedback on this guide and its previous editions.

We would also like to thank the many people who have shared both positive and negative workplace experiences and enabled us to use their quotations and case studies.

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