World Mental Health Day
What employers need to know

World Mental Health Day is celebrated on October 10th each year to raise awareness about mental health and to encourage people to seek help if they are struggling. It is also a day for employers to think about how they can support their employees' mental health. There are many different types of mental health issues including:

  • Anxiety disorders: Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental health disorder. They are characterised by feelings of worry, fear, and apprehension. Anxiety disorders make it difficult to concentrate, to make decisions, and to relax.

  • Depressive disorders: Depressive disorders are characterised by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness. Depressive disorders make it difficult to get out of bed, enjoy once pleasurable activities, and concentrate.

  • Bipolar disorder: Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that is characterised by periods of mania and depression. Mania is characterised by feelings of euphoria, energy, and grandiosity. Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness characterise depression.

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): PTSD is a mental health condition that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. PTSD causes flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and depression.

  • Eating disorders: Eating disorders are mental health conditions characterised by abnormal eating habits. Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.

  • Substance use disorders: Substance use disorders are mental health conditions that are characterised by excessive use of alcohol or drugs. Substance use disorders can lead to problems at work, in relationships, and in health.

Historically, there has been a stigma attached to mental health in the workplace due to several factors, including a lack of understanding about mental health, and a belief that people with mental health issues are not productive. This stigma makes it more difficult for employees to talk about their mental health as concern around job security comes into play. There is also a fear of judgement and being labelled.

Another reason why people may not want to discuss their mental health issues with their employers is that they may feel uncomfortable talking about such a personal issue.

If you are an employer, it is important to create a supportive work environment for employees who are struggling with their mental health. You can do this by educating employees about mental health, promoting a healthy work-life balance, and providing access to resources and support. You can also create a supportive work environment by reducing stress, bullying, and harassment.

  • Educate employees about mental health including the signs and symptoms of common mental health conditions. This can help employees identify and understand their own mental health and seek help if they need it.

  • Promote a healthy work-life balance. Employers can promote a healthy work-life balance by encouraging employees to take breaks, use their leave days, and avoid working long hours. 

  • Provide access to resources and support such as employee assistance programmes (EAPs), mental health professionals, and support groups. Employers can also offer mental health days and other benefits that support employees' mental health.

  • Create a supportive work environment by reducing stress, bullying, and harassment. Employers can also encourage employees to support each other and to build relationships.

If an employee tells you that they are struggling with their mental health, it is important to be supportive and understanding. Here are some things you can do:

  • Listen to the employee. Let them know that you are there for them and that you care.

  • Offer support. Let the employee know that you are there to help them and that you will work with them to find solutions.

  • Encourage the employee to seek professional help. If the employee is struggling to manage their mental health, encourage them to seek professional help from a therapist or counsellor.

  • Be patient and understanding. It may take time for the employee to recover. Continue to offer your support.

At CorporateWise we offer a two-hour online seminar around mental health with a Q&A session to provide employers with an insight into mental health and provide suggestions as to what can be done in this regard. (Please note, we do not offer any HR advice or comments when it comes to incapacity issues). We are also starting a Management Programme on the 1st November (online) and so you can learn more about bringing out the best in the employees you manage. Please go to our Events page to find out more.

Please contact if you would like to find out more.

World Mental Health Day
Kathryn Lehnerdt 10 October, 2023
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