How to Better Equip Yourself When it Comes to Your Team’s Mental Health

In: BlogDate: Jan 29, 2024By: Claire Lickman

With more and more companies engaging with wellbeing for their staff and recognising the importance of mental health, there’s a need for employers to equip their staff with the necessary skills to deal with incidences of mental ill health. That’s where the Mental Health Awareness For Managers course can support you.

Read more in this blog by Natalie Salmon.

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Did you know that only 11% of people dealing with a mental health challenge spoke to their manager about it? Or that 1 in 5 people have called in sick due to stress but 93% lied to their boss about the reason? What about that 84% of employees prefer to tell their manager they have the flu rather than a mental health issue?

That’s a lot of people who don’t feel able to discuss at work what’s really going on for them.

When we talk about mental health in the workplace, we find a lot of managers unsure how to navigate talking to their staff about mental health as well as not feeling sure or confident about what to say or do.

With 1 in 4 people in the UK suffering from a mental health issue every year, it’s something that almost all of us are going to be affected by, either directly or indirectly, at some point. It’s vital that managers are equipped with the tools and skills to have these conversations with staff and be able to support them.

We’ve created the course Mental Health Awareness for Managers to do precisely that. This workshop will equip managers with the tools and skills as well as knowledge to help them feel more confident and resourced when it comes to what is often perceived as a challenging subject.

What does that actually look like? It means thinking about what to be looking out for when it comes to signs people might be struggling. Knowing your team, how they work, what “normal” is for them in terms of their everyday behaviour is key to being a good manager. It means noticing when something might not be quite right and what action you might then take.

What comes next is the bit that people feel especially challenged by: talking to the person. What usually scares people is knowing what to say, how to say it, and acknowledging that we might get it wrong. In this workshop, we talk about those fears and how can you support yourself to make this feel easier. We focus on your skills and the practical steps you can take to ensure that these conversations feel less daunting and have the kind of outcome you would want, such as ensuring your people feel supported.

This workshop provides an opportunity to practice what might you say in a real life situation. You also will have the opportunity to discuss what makes these situations seem scary – what you find is a lot of other managers have the same concerns, and actually, it isn’t all about it getting it right. We also think about some proactive steps you can take to support your team’s wellbeing all the time, so talking about these topics don’t feel unusual or something to be covered up.

With practical advice to find out what really matters when supporting your staff with their mental health and what you can focus on, we’re hoping this will help people to be able to talk more freely about mental health at work. We are aiming to reduce some of the stigma around mental health, help staff feel able to talk about worries and concerns, and for organisations to take their people’s wellbeing seriously.

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Did you know…

…84% of employees prefer to tell their manager they have the flu rather than a mental health issue?

Let’s reduce the stigma of mental ill health by starting conversations about how we are feeling in the workplace, and talking openly about concerns or worries. This change in culture starts with management - and that’s where our new Mental Health Awareness for Managers workshop comes in.

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Claire Lickman

Claire is Head of Marketing at Happy. She has worked at Happy since 2016, and is responsible for Happy's marketing strategy, website, social media and more. Claire first heard about Happy in 2012 when she attended a mix of IT and personal development courses. These courses were life-changing and she has been a fan of Happy ever since. She has a personal blog at

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