Listen Up: LetsTalk Mental Health; listen, respond and provide support

Many people will experience a mental health problem. This booklet, by Friends Life in partnership with Business in the Community, gives ideas on how to talk about it when mental health issues arise in the workplace.

The continued stigma attached to mental-health conditions is enough to cause most people to keep personal or family distress hidden whenever and wherever possible.

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One of the results of keeping mental-health issues secret is the perception that such problems are rare. The reality is that one in four people will experience a mental-health problem in their lifetime. The most common problem is mixed anxiety and depression. Common mental-health problems may be short-lived, but could becomemore problematic if allowed to persist. Similarly, more serious mental-health problems are not necessarily lifelong, especially where effective treatment is employed.

All of us are likely to be affected either directly or indirectly by mental‑health issues, through family or friends, neighbours or colleagues.

Having a mental-health problem does not mean someone is unable to work; the truth is we all probably work with someone who is experiencing a mental‑health problem.

This booklet, commissioned by Friends Life as a member of the Business in the Community Workwell Mental Health Champions Group, is for everyone and will give you some ideas about how to talk about, listen to, respond and provide support when mental-health issues arise in the workplace.