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Planning the future of mental health and wellbeing

19 April 2022

Throughout the pandemic with the Covid-19 isolations and with many of us (still) working from home, there seems to have been sea-change, a recognition of the importance of mental health and wellbeing.

The government is also focusing its attention on the future of mental health and well-being with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care publishing a discussion paper last week.

The discussion paper addresses the need for more mental health support, the development of a national mental health plan and re-thinking the way that mental health support is currently prioritised. The rationale is not only to improve wellbeing but also the potential of ‘levelling up’ the country and encouraging a thriving economy.

Within the paper, there is recognition of the need for compassionate employers, with employment being the constant in most people’s lives, to allow employees to meet their full potential.

It also questions the role for the private sector, including employers, in preventing the onset of mental health conditions and the wider implementation of workplace interventions to support mental health.

Employers have an existing duty of care for their employees. However, it seems likely there will be further expectations on employers to provide support for their employee’s mental health and wellbeing.

We recommend you consider what steps can you, as an employer take to become more conscious and compassionate. This will, of course, vary from employer to employer – and what works for one employee may not be welcomed by another – but a wellbeing action plan is often a great first step. Even employers with established wellbeing support systems in place would be sensible to revisit these to assess whether they are still fit for purpose in light of workplace changes (and increased stressors) due to the pandemic.

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