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Mental Health: How to Make Your Company More Inclusive

Mental health
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In support of World Mental Health Day, GrantTree’s head of people offers five tips for making your company more inclusive for people with mental health issues.

According to mental health charity Mind, as many as 25% of people in the UK suffer from mental health issues every year. What’s more, they estimate that one in six people experience a mental health problem in any given week. With so many people suffering from mental health issues, there’s a good chance that one of more of your colleagues are being affected. 

Mental health can be a delicate subject, but CEOs and founders must take the initiative and help their staff through moments of difficulty. 

In support of World Mental Health Day GrantTree’s head of people, Ceylan Sepil, has shared five ways you can make your company more inclusive for people dealing with mental health issues.

  1. Talk about it. There’s still a lot of stigma around mental health. Talking is the first step to better understanding. Your business should create ‘safe spaces’ where people can freely discuss mental health without fear of judgement or prejudice. You should consider working with a professional mediator at the beginning, just to make sure the environment you’re creating is truly inclusive and understanding.
  2. Make resources available. There’s a lot of great information on mental health. We suggest looking at the websites of MIND, CALM and Samaritans. Ceylan suggests putting all these materials in one place, so employees know where to go if they need information and advice.
  3. Make your commitment clear. By formalising your commitment to mental health, you show your employees you take the matter seriously and that you are willing to stand by them through their difficulties. You also codify what support your business should be offering, making it easier to set targets and budgets. Signing up to Sanctus’ mental health pledge is an excellent way to make this commitment.
  4. Make funds available for therapy. When it comes to mental health, there’s no substitute for professional help. While the NHS’s IAPT programme has attempted to make government-funded therapy more accessible, it can still be quicker and more convenient to seek a private alternative. Companies should allocate budget towards private therapy, or subscribe to a health insurance plan that covers therapy.
  5. Insure your company. Make sure your business insurance covers you in the event an employee needs to take an extended leave of absence. While necessary, leaves of absence can be disruptive. It’ll be easier for you to offer your support if your business is properly protected.

As Ceylan says, if you have any questions about these tips, please get in touch!

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