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Management of mental health in the workplace

Mental health issues have a strong effect on the health and well-being of employees and on work organisations. There is growing research into the relationships between mental health, productivity, absence from work and the related costs to businesses and the economy as a whole. ACAS has developed guidance, tools and training materials for employers and has been working with a range of organisations on the management of mental health.

Acas commissioned IER to undertake case study work to explore how Suffolk County Council has responded to the challenge of managing mental health at work and what role training by ACAS has played in the process. The aim was to deepen our understanding of workplace responses to mental health, enable ACAS to evaluate the impact of their work with employers on this issue and update their guidance on promoting positive mental health at work.

The case study takes an equalities-based approach to discussing mental health at work: it considers how broader social issues including job insecurity and outsourcing of work inequalities impact on UK workers’ wellbeing.

The case study concluded that:

  • Senior management support is essential to the success of mental health training programmes;
  • Training should be part of a broader organisational strategy;
  • Training materials need to be tailored to an organisation’s unique needs;
  • The ‘train the trainer’ model can be effective but staff volunteers need support and time allocated to conduct training separate to their day-to-day responsibilities.

The final report is available online here:

Download the final report.

Project Duration:

March 2017 - March 2017

Project Team:

Erika Kispeter - Principal Investigator

Sally Wright