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Top Mental Health Support Programs for Employees in the UK

Mental health is a crucial aspect of overall well-being, and its importance in the workplace has never been more evident. As the conversation around mental health continues, employers recognise the need to support their employees’ mental well-being. 

Several initiatives and programs have been implemented in the UK to ensure employees receive the necessary support. This blog post explores the top mental health support programs for employees in the UK, offering insights into how these programs work and their benefits.

Introduction to Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental health support is essential for employees as it directly impacts productivity, job satisfaction, and overall workplace harmony. A healthy workforce is more productive, engaged, and motivated. With the rise of mental health awareness, employers are increasingly adopting strategies to support their employees’ mental well-being.

Why Mental Health Support is Important

  1. Increased Productivity: Employees who feel supported are more likely to be productive and engaged.
  2. Reduced Absenteeism: Mental health support can lead to fewer sick days and a more reliable workforce.
  3. Enhanced Job Satisfaction: Employees who feel their mental health is valued are more satisfied with their jobs.
  4. Better Retention Rates: Supportive workplaces are more likely to retain employees, reducing turnover costs.

Government Initiatives

The UK government has taken significant steps to address mental health in the workplace. One notable initiative is the “Thriving at Work” report, which provides guidelines for employers to support their employees’ mental health.

Thriving at Work Report

Published in 2017, the “Thriving at Work” report outlines six core standards for employers to implement:

  1. Produce, implement, and communicate a mental health at work plan.
  2. Develop mental health awareness among employees.
  3. Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees struggle.
  4. Provide employees with good working conditions and ensure they have a healthy work-life balance.
  5. Promote effective people management.
  6. Routinely monitor employee mental health and well-being.

Legislative Framework

The UK also has legislative frameworks in place to ensure mental health support, such as the Equality Act 2010, which requires employers to make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities, including mental health conditions.

Popular Employer-Led Programs

Many companies in the UK have taken proactive steps to support their employees’ mental health. Here are some common employer-led programs:

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

EAPs are confidential counselling services that provide support for personal or work-related issues. These programs typically offer:

  • Counselling Sessions: Access to professional counsellors for a set number of sessions.
  • Referral Services: Guidance on accessing further mental health support or services.
  • Resource Libraries: Access to online resources, articles, and self-help tools.

Mental Health First Aiders

Training employees to become Mental Health First Aiders equips them to provide initial support and guidance to colleagues experiencing mental health issues. This program includes:

  • Training Courses: Comprehensive training on recognising and responding to mental health issues.
  • Support Networks: Creating a network of trained individuals who can offer support within the workplace.
  • Ongoing Education: Regular updates and additional training to keep skills current.

Flexible Working Arrangements

Flexible working policies allow employees to manage their work-life balance more effectively, reducing stress and burnout. These policies can include the following:

  • Remote Working: Allowing employees to work from home or other locations.
  • Flexible Hours: Permitting employees to choose their working hours within certain limits.
  • Job Sharing: Allowing two employees to share the responsibilities of one full-time position.

Non-Profit and Charitable Organisations

Several non-profit organisations and charities are vital in providing mental health support in the workplace. Some of the prominent ones include:


Mind is a leading mental health charity in the UK that offers workplace mental health training and resources. Their services include:

  • Workplace Training: Courses on mental health awareness, resilience, and managing stress.
  • Consultancy Services: Tailored advice and support for creating a mentally healthy workplace.
  • Resource Provision: Access to guides, toolkits, and other resources.

Mental Health Foundation

The Mental Health Foundation focuses on research and public education to improve mental health. Their workplace initiatives include:

  • Campaigns: Raising awareness about mental health issues and encouraging open conversations.
  • Training Programs: Providing training on mental health first aid and workplace well-being.
  • Resources: Offering a range of materials to support mental health in the workplace.

Corporate Examples

Many companies in the UK are recognised for their exemplary mental health support programs. Here are a few notable examples:


Unilever is known for its holistic approach to employee well-being, including mental health support. Their program includes:

  • Well-being Framework: A comprehensive framework addressing physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
  • Employee Networks: Support networks for different aspects of mental health and well-being.
  • Regular Assessments: Ongoing assessments to ensure the effectiveness of their well-being programs.


Deloitte offers extensive mental health resources and support networks for employees. Their initiatives include:

  • Mental Health Champions: A network of trained employees who promote mental health awareness and provide support.
  • Well-being Apps: Access to digital tools and apps for mental health support and mindfulness.
  • Workshops and Seminars: Regular sessions on mental health topics, resilience, and stress management.

Technology and Digital Solutions

The rise of digital mental health platforms and apps has provided new avenues for supporting employee mental health. Here are some popular digital solutions:

Headspace for Work

Headspace for Work offers meditation and mindfulness resources tailored for workplace stress. Features include:

  • Guided Meditations: A variety of meditation sessions for different needs and situations.
  • Mindfulness Training: Courses and resources to help employees develop mindfulness practices.
  • Performance Tracking: Tools to track the impact of mindfulness practices on employee well-being.


Unmind is a mental health platform providing tools and resources to help employees manage their mental health proactively. Key features include:

  • Assessment Tools: Regular assessments to identify mental health needs and track progress.
  • Content Library: Access to articles, videos, and exercises on various mental health topics.
  • Personalised Support: Tailored recommendations based on individual needs and preferences.

Employee Feedback and Involvement

Involving employees in creating and implementing mental health programs is crucial for their success. Here’s how employers can engage employees:

Gathering Feedback

  • Surveys: Regular surveys to gather employee feedback on existing mental health programs.
  • Focus Groups: Small group discussions to delve deeper into specific issues and gather detailed feedback.
  • Suggestion Boxes: Anonymous suggestion boxes to encourage employees to share their ideas and concerns.

Employee Involvement

  • Committees: Forming employee committees to oversee mental health initiatives and provide input.
  • Workshops: Organising workshops where employees can contribute ideas and solutions for mental health support.
  • Open Forums: Holding open forums for employees to discuss mental health issues and share experiences.

Evaluation and Continuous Improvement

To ensure mental health programs are effective, employers should regularly evaluate and improve their initiatives. Here are some steps to follow:

Regular Assessments

  • Performance Metrics: Tracking key metrics such as employee satisfaction, absenteeism, and productivity.
  • Feedback Loops: Creating mechanisms for continuous feedback from employees.
  • Benchmarking: Comparing the company’s programs with industry standards and best practices.

Continuous Improvement

  • Adapting Programs: Making necessary adjustments based on feedback and assessments.
  • Staying Informed: Keeping up-to-date with the latest research and developments in mental health support.
  • Ongoing Training: Regular training ensures employees and managers are equipped to support mental health.

Final Thoughts

Supporting mental health in the workplace is a multifaceted approach that requires commitment from both employers and employees. Companies can create a supportive and productive work environment by implementing comprehensive mental health support programs. The UK offers a range of resources, from government initiatives to employer-led programs and digital solutions, ensuring that employees receive the support they need. Prioritising mental health benefits employees and improves the organisation’s overall success and well-being.

In essence, supporting mental health in the workplace creates a culture where mental well-being is prioritised and support is readily available. With the right programs and initiatives, employers can help their employees thrive both personally and professionally. 

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