Today, to coincide with World Mental Health Day, the CIPD is calling for more employers in the North to equip their line managers with the skills and confidence to better support staff with poor mental health, which may be exacerbated by the rising cost of living.

Research from the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, reveals that mental ill health was the most common cause of long-term sickness absence this year. Yet despite managers often being the first port of call to help tackle mental health concerns and issues, CIPD research found that only 44% of line managers receive training to support people with mental ill health.

While this doesn’t mean managers should act as medical experts or counsellors, they have a vital role to play in identifying signs of stress or poor mental health in staff, having compassionate conversations, and signposting them to specialist sources of help where needed.

To help employers in the North build mentally healthy workplaces, the CIPD and mental health charity Mind, have published a guide for people managers to better support those experiencing stress and mental health issues.

The Supporting Mental Health at Work guide is designed to facilitate conversations about mental wellbeing and put in place effective support so employees can stay well and in work. The guide also offers advice to help managers understand the impact of their behaviours and management style, which can be a major source of workplace stress.

Daphne Doody-Green, Head of CIPD Northern England said: 

“The cost-of-living crisis will lead to financial struggles for many people in the North, so employers may see a spike in more of their people suffering from poor mental health. Employers have a duty of care for their employees, so it’s vital they ensure line managers have the competence and confidence to support staff effectively with their mental wellbeing.”

To help organisations support staff through the cost-of-living crisis, the CIPD has also launched a ‘Cost-of-Living Hub’, which provides resources and guidance for employers to help  workers with financial struggles.

Doody-Green commented: 

“Financial wellbeing support can alleviate the cost-of-living strains, and even if an employer can’t afford to offer pay rises at this time, there’s still a lot they can do to ease the stress and anxiety their workforce is facing.

“Our Cost-of-Living Hub outlines a range of  recommendations, such as reviewing any financial wellbeing policies and benefits packages to make sure they’re as effective as possible  – especially for those employees who are most likely to be struggling to make ends meet.”


CIPD Press Enquiries  

Kim Bailey, Communications Specialist 

Notes to editor

*The CIPD Health and Wellbeing at Work 2022 survey took place in November and December 2021, and gathered responses from 804 HR professionals.

**The CIPD Good Work Index 2022 UK Working Lives survey took place in January and February 2022 and gathered responses from 6,626 workers.

Daphne Doody-Green, CIPD, is available for interview

The CIPD is the professional body for HR and people development. The registered charity champions better work and working lives and has been setting the benchmark for excellence in people and organisation development for more than 100 years. It has a community of almost 160,000 members across the world, provides thought leadership through independent research on the world of work, and offers professional training and accreditation for those working in HR and learning and development.

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At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.