Implement a Mental Health Awareness Training Program in Your Workplace

What is Mental Health Awareness?

Mental health awareness involves recognising, understanding and responding to mental health difficulties, and empowering individuals to take responsibility for their wellbeing. It is necessary to create a healthy workplace environment, where employees feel both supported and empowered to take action when necessary.   

Mental health awareness involves providing employees with the knowledge and tools they need to identify mental health issues in themselves and in others. This includes knowing how and when to ask for help, knowledge of support available, and recognising signs of distress in others. Mental health awareness can involve educating staff on the importance of ‘self-care’ – such as taking regular breaks throughout the day – as well as providing guidance on how to create an open dialogue between colleagues.

Mental Health

Employers have a duty of care to their employees and should ensure that any mental health policies are properly implemented within the workplace. Employers can offer training to improve understanding of mental health difficulties, offer reasonable adjustments, implement an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), or introduce dedicated support networks for staff who may be struggling with their mental health.   

Mental health awareness also extends beyond individual companies and workplaces; it should be promoted throughout society. Governments can play a key role here by investing in public mental health initiatives and campaigns, which seek to de-stigmatise mental illness and encourage open conversations about mental wellbeing.   

Ultimately, by implementing measures such as these, businesses can foster an inclusive working environment where employees feel comfortable disclosing any issues they may be facing and seeking help when needed. Mental health awareness is essential for employers who wish to create safe work environments where everyone feels supported and able to perform at their best.

Why is Mental Health Awareness Training Necessary for any Business?

Mental health awareness training is essential for any business, large or small. Employers have a legal obligation to provide their staff with a safe and healthy working environment, and mental health awareness training can help to ensure their mental wellbeing. Mental health awareness training helps ensure that employees are aware of the signs of mental distress in themselves and in others, as well as how to access resources and support services if needed.  

Research suggests that people who feel supported by their workplace are more productive, happier, and more engaged in their work. Mental health awareness training can help create a workplace culture that is empathetic and understanding towards staff members’ mental health needs. Training also enables employers to recognise when members of their team need extra emotional support or guidance, as well as how best to offer it.   

Mental health awareness training also benefits the employer in terms of cost savings. Poor mental health in the workplace can lead to increased employee absence levels which can directly affect an organisation’s overall performance and success levels. Investing in staff wellbeing programmes such as mental health awareness training reduces absenteeism rates, increases employee satisfaction levels, improves productivity output, boosts morale and morale among teams – all of which saves money for the company in the long run.   

Investing in mental health awareness training is an investment in your workforce – it demonstrates care for every single employee while creating a stronger sense of community within the organisation. This leads to less stress-related issues among staff members while improving loyalty towards their employer as they feel appreciated for their individual strengths rather than judged for perceived weaknesses or limitations. In short, providing this type of education has an array of benefits both for employers and employees alike!  

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How to Assess the Current Understanding

Assessing the current understanding of mental health and wellbeing among employees, is important for ensuring that any mental health awareness training is effective. Understanding the current understanding among employees can help you identify topics to focus on, and including staff in the development of the training programme will help them feel valued.  

Anonymous surveys or questionnaires can be effective in garnering the opinions and perspectives of your team, so that the content of training can be as relevant as possible and tailor the content accordingly. Consider using multiple-choice questions and text box responses, to gather both qualitative feedback and gather votes for topic choices.   

In addition to surveys, focus groups and interviews may also be beneficial for assessing employee understanding of mental health and wellbeing. Interviews provide a safe space for employees to express their thoughts openly without fear of judgement or repercussion, enabling you to gain a better understanding of individual beliefs and levels of engagement with this topic. Focus groups may also be useful to garner common themes. If possible, offer the choice of a trusted line manager, or someone independent, so that interviewees feel comfortable speaking openly about sensitive issues without worrying about confidentiality or privacy issues.   

Don’t forget to consider other sources when assessing employee understanding too, such as reports from HR departments on mental health related absenteeism, or wellbeing initiatives previously held in your organisation. Examining these reports can help you understand what has previously been successful in terms of engaging employees or what areas require more focus when designing a new training programme.   

Finally, analyse existing policies related to mental health awareness within your organisation. By examining existing policies, you can identify any gaps where further guidance may be needed, allowing you to design an optimised training program tailored specifically for your business needs.   

What will Mental Health Awareness Training Involve?

When it comes to implementing a mental health awareness training program in your workplace, you want to ensure that training covers a number of areas: what is mental health, how mental health impacts people, and how to recognise the signs of distress in themselves and others. Mental health awareness training programs can involve a variety of activities including lectures, workshops, role-play scenarios, discussions, and more.   

It is important to introduce the concept of mental health, and dispell any myths, misconceptions or stigmas that may exist. Fluctuations in mental health should be normalised and explained. Employees should be taught about the links between mental and physical health, such as physical symptoms of depression, anxiety and even schizophrenia. Trainers can be experts by personal experience, profession or both. You should choose a trainer that you feel your team will connect to and resonate with, to increase the likelihood of them engaging and gaining insight into understanding their own thoughts and emotions better.   

Role-playing exercises can help employees practice responding to various scenarios involving mental health issues in a safe environment that allows them to learn from mistakes without fear of judgement. Discussions can also be held to create an open dialogue between members of staff which encourages them to share their experiences with one another. Additionally, workshops could be held where team members can collaborate on ideas for creating a positive work environment that supports good mental health practices.   

At the end of the session, feedback should be gathered from employees to assess how useful and effective they found the training to be. This can also inform implementation of the knowledge and skills learned during the training in day to day working

How will Mental Health Awareness Training Benefit the Business?

Mental health awareness training is an important part of any business’s efforts to create a safe and healthy work environment.  

For employers, it can help to create a workplace culture that is more accepting of mental health issues. Many people may feel anxious or depressed due to personal or work-related pressures, but they often feel unable to talk about their problems openly. By providing mental health awareness training and suggesting helpful coping strategies, employers can show employees that they care about their wellbeing and foster an atmosphere where mental health issues are discussed openly without fear of judgement or stigma.   

Mental health awareness training can also provide employers with the tools they need to identify potential problems early on and take action before the situation becomes unmanageable. With better knowledge of how to recognise signs of distress, managers can be better equipped to spot when someone might be struggling with their mental health and offer them appropriate support. This in turn helps reduce absenteeism as well as improve morale and productivity in the workplace.   

Organisations that invest in mental health awareness training often enjoy improved employee engagement too. Studies have found that organisations which prioritise employee wellbeing tend to have higher levels of job satisfaction amongst staff, leading to increased motivation and performance levels overall. In addition, providing mental health support for staff is linked with increased loyalty towards the organisation, which helps reduce recruitment costs in the long run.   

Finally, making sure everyone in your organisation has access to mental health awareness training can help you meet legal obligations regarding responsible care for your employees’ wellbeing – something that is especially important if you operate in certain sectors like healthcare or childcare where regulations are particularly stringent.

How to Assess the Impact of Mental Health Awareness Training

In order to ensure an effective and successful mental health awareness training program, it is important to assess its impact. Assessing the impact of your program can help you identify areas for improvement and measure its success over time. Here are some tips for assessing the effectiveness of mental health awareness training in the workplace.   

  1. Encourage Feedback: Invite employees to provide feedback on their experience with the training program. Ask them questions about their level of understanding and engagement, as well as any challenges they encountered during the process. 


  1. Monitor Knowledge Retention: Another way to measure the success of your mental health awareness training is by tracking knowledge retention. You can easily do this by administering a quiz or survey that tests employees’ knowledge on topics discussed during the program. This will help you gain a better understanding of how much information employees were able to retain from the training session. 


  1. Analyse Behavioural Change: Evaluate changes in employee behaviour before and after the implementation of your mental health awareness training program. Ask yourself whether employees are demonstrating greater signs of mental wellbeing, such as improved communication skills or increased engagement in team activities? Have rates of absenteeism or turnover reduced?


  1. Measure Productivity Levels: Increased productivity levels could indicate that staff members are being more proactive in maintaining their wellbeing, and/or seeking support when they need it from managers or colleagues alike. 


By following these tips, you can gain insight into how effective your mental health awareness training program has been at improving worker wellbeing in your workplace environment – ultimately enabling you to make any adjustments necessary in order for it to be truly successful in tackling key mental health issues among employees in today’s professional settings.  

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If you need any guidance or assistance, we would be delighted to assist. 

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