The Three Tiers of Mental Health Actions in Businesses

When looking at improving the mental health and well-being of the employees in your business (if you are unsure why this is important click HERE to see out previous blog which will explain) a strategic, organised and knowledgeable approach needs to be taken. It is not just a case of hiring a counsellor and organising some Yoga sessions….. oh, and the dreaded emails reminding people to ‘have a break’ or ‘phone a friend’, this is not enough. This is at best not understanding the problem or solution well and at worst box ticking.

Not to worry though, here is a look at the multi layered approach which is proven to succeed. Off course there is lots of further details involved in each section, but this will provide a great framework and look at some great ways to engage employees in the process.

Tier One – C-level and Directors

This must come from the top, if the leaders in the business are not showing a keen and supportive edge in the process then there is little chance anyone else will, other than those already interested, and chances are they have at least a few processes in place to manage their well-being already.

Don’t let this be too daunting, it doesn’t mean that the CEO must lay bare his life story with all the ups and downs, trials and tribulations. It simply means showing support, positivity and some authenticity or vulnerability around the subject. This can be done in many ways but firstly an engagement in the process and guidance to how best frame this support will be needed. An understanding of what the processes are and how they can be supported in a way that will improve engagement.

Just imagine you are trying to help a friend by recommending an approach or service that will help them but it is one that you know nothing about and are openly not engaged in, would they take your advice?

Another important step here is that the leaders ensure the mental health and well-being initiatives are a non-negotiable and company culture and that this is clear to everyone. This should be a positive and sincere message, one that will help the employees understand that this is a change for the better and is being put in place to help them on a business and personal level.

Tier Two – Management and Team Leaders

The Management and Team Leaders will be automatically more engaged at this point because the leaders of the business are. There is still work to be done here though, and as well as also demonstrating support and authenticity to their teams they will also need to understand the processes, this is where the training begins! The team leaders will need to start the education now, the teams will start at a later date, and they will need to leave this training feeling knowledgeable and excited about what they have learnt and how they are going to incorporate this into their lives.

This is to do with the training they receive which needs to be put together in a clear, simple, no-jargon, positive and easy way. They will need to understand the why’s and what if’s, the reasons and challenges, the science and practicalities. Why expect people to engage if they don’t understand why. They will also need an understanding that they need to build on the leader’s positivity to create a complete culture change. They will not only be able to improve their own lives but that of the others in their teams and that they will be given time to do so, time for daily check ins and well-being breaks.

After education and training in holistic (multiple modalities) mental health and well-being practises managers and team leaders will start to change their behaviours to model an example as the leaders before them did.

Tier Three – Team members and all other employees

By this point the employees would have seen the leader’s examples and the positivity and changes in the management, they will feel excited and be looking forward to their education and training feeling ready to make the changes already positively modelled by the others in the company. This will make the engagement here far more so than if the training was just put onto them without any of the progression of culture change and thinking perspectives around this subject. Mental health still has a stigma but at this point that is being diminished as the leader in the company are taking action and speaking out, they are providing an example in this area and not just providing a ‘solution’ or ‘ticking a box’, this is where real change happens. Where the people in the company have had time to adjust and small subtle steps have been taken to ensure all tiers feel happy and comfortable.

So training and education will start here now, as it did before. Helping these employees to build good mental health and well-being habits seamlessly into their days. Helping them understand how to navigate ‘making healthy habits’ and building structures that will not only improve themselves but others around them and their work.

Small Steps

It is important to recognise that this approach is built over time, like a fad diet if you try to rush this and do everything at once it will fail. Breath and take one step at a time, only when each step is complete and processes strongly in place do you move to the next.

Making the change

Cultural changes can mostly be an internal matter (with guidance on content of the changes), this is something that we can help with but that most companies can manage and put in place. Sometimes some guidance is needed at senior levels to help start but it really is an internal matter and down to the people in the business to action. Where we come in is helping to form the strategy to this and then providing the training and support in keeping momentum, energy and positivity around what is a very serious subject. This is something I work closely with companies to achieve, insuring they have the right professionals providing the right training for them. There is not a one size fits all method here, all companies are different. Some don’t have three tiers yet, that’s ok we can work on two in a similar way. Some have EAP plans or OC Health support, some don’t. Everyone has different budgets! This is all ok, as experts in this field we can work with you to ensure these processes are properly embedded into the company and its people.

If you would like to talk further on this or need some help or guidance making a start, get in touch –

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