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Mental Health Training For Managers: Getting Started and Doing It Right

Wrote this on

January 14, 2021

mental health training for managers

Mental health challenges are a growing worldwide concern, resulting in long-term absence from work. Rates of detection might have improved along with effective support, however, training of management in workplaces might have not. Mental health training for managers might be a luxury in many businesses, though a fruitful investment if executed effectively. 

Why Managers Should Be Trained In Mental Health

Contributing to long-term sickness in many developed countries, mental illness is not only apparent amongst the working-age population. Mental health presence has been enhanced by changes in our society and workplaces, the way in which mental health is perceived in such environments, and how this might affect working capacity. 

A large number of employees diagnosed with mental health illness also experience acute working difficulties. Furthermore, the conditions are attributed to low self-esteem, financial difficulties and social struggles.

Occupational health and wellbeing can however be improved through mental health awareness and the correct training for managers. Managers in the workplace act as a key component in supporting people occupationally who are experiencing mental health issues. 

Managers play an integral role in understanding workplace conditions that may contribute to common mental health hurdles. They also have an element of power to make adjustments for employees experiencing poor mental health.

Managers trained in mental health can use their knowledge and skills to prevent further ill-health from arising. However, without the appropriate training t further harm, increased absence and or signs of further mental health problems might occur.

Many inadequately trained managers express concern over approaching employees with poor mental health. Whilst the conversations in themselves are difficult, they also feel they could cause harm or spark complaints if they do so. 

Why Mental Health Training For Managers Is Beneficial

The correct intervention to this issue is to implement mental health training for managers to increase awareness and understanding. Such initiatives leave managers feeling confident when discussing mental health issues.

There are many benefits to training managers in mental health. Some research even suggests employees of managers with the relevant training have seen a reduction in anxiety, depression and stress, as well as an increase in greater overall wellbeing.

A Reduction In Absence

With effective mental health training, businesses can expect to see a significant reduction in work-related absence. Largely due to early intervention and the prevention of future mental health illness. Furthermore, the level of absenteeism will decrease which helps bridge the gap between illness and improved productivity, for both the individual and the business.

Return of Investment 

For every pound spent on mental health training for managers the return of investment is approximately £9. Whilst this might not be applicable in all work situations or for every business, the investment pays off in ways other forms of mental health support might not. 

Increases Mental Health Awareness

An important element of training managers in mental health is their ability to increase awareness around the topic. Mental health is still very much stigmatised in the workplace, however, with significant recognition of mental health illnesses, this can change. 

Common mental health problems such as anxiety, depression or stress can easily be transmitted in the workplace and are only exacerbated without helpful action. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trained employees are better equipped to help your business recognise and understand symptoms of mental health issues. In addition, they have the ability to promote recovery of good mental health and wellbeing by understanding an employees needs during a crisis. 

mental health training for managers

An Increase in Confidence

Individuals who are MHFA trained show greater levels of confidence in providing help to others, at work and home. Businesses that ignore the importance of mental health training are more likely to lack the confidence to help others and may even find increased social distance from those with mental health illnesses. 

What Mental Health Training is Available To Me?

There are various ways to train your managers to be better equipped to deal with mental health challenges within the business. However, it’s important that you choose wisely otherwise it can be a costly mistake.

Choosing the right partner or training provider requires research and testimonials from other companies who’ve also gone through the process of training managers to assist employees with mental health challenges. But whoever you decide to move forward with, embedding this as part of an overall strategy is important.

Too often we’ve seen companies train managers, announce it, and then forget to follow up with managers to find out how they’re doing. If you’re going to move forward with mental health training for your managers then make sure you build in a strategy to follow up with your managers, check in on them and make sure they’re taking action on the training you’ve provided. If not, this can become a tick box exercise that won’t reap the rewards.

At Everymind at Work, we’ve helped over 100 businesses improve workplace mental health. As part of our offering, we also train managers in mental health. Run as a half-day session online, we equip managers with the tools to support themselves, reduce stigma in the workplace, know how to spot signs, have difficult conversations and understand where their responsibility ends. But we also run a 6 week follow up session, answering any questions and helping managers embed what they’ve learnt into the business.

If you’re looking to find out more and get a tailored strategy for your business, just click here.


Mental health training for managers offers benefits to both the workplace, suffering individuals and management. Having significant measurable benefits, efforts to improve organisational wellbeing are smaller than many businesses may believe. From an increase in a manager’s confidence in dealing with mental health illness along with reduced sickness and a substantial return of investment, the changes are lasting and fruitful. 

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