Mental ill-health affects one in five people in Northern Ireland – that means that 20% of employees in the average organisation will experience mental ill-health at some stage. Learn how to reduce stigma in the workplace by creating a culture of openness where employees feel supported and able to talk about their mental health, if they choose to do so.

Mental ill-health often goes unmentioned because people are afraid of saying the wrong thing. Cited as one of the leading causes of absence from work, this issue is not something that employers can ignore.

Did you know?

  • Mental ill-health affects one in five people in Northern Ireland – that means that 20% of employees in the average organisation will have experienced mental ill-health at some stage.
  • When matched to 17 other countries, NI had the 2nd highest rates of mental ill-health issues
  • Prevalence of mental illness in Northern Ireland is 25% higher than in England

So what can your business do about it?

  • Reduce stigma by creating a culture of openness within the workplace where employees experiencing mental ill-health feel supported and able to talk if they choose to do so.
  • Empower line managers and staff with greater knowledge and understanding of mental ill-health; how to spot the signs, offer support before and during a period of absence, and how to welcome employees back to the workplace.

What is Business in the Community doing?

We are committed to supporting employers to tackle mental ill-health in the workplace and have produced a range of Toolkits for employers. Please use these resources or email Denise Cranston for more information.


e-Learning Course: Mental Health & Wellbeing in the Workplace

Business in the Community, in partnership with Legal-Island, is delighted to announce the introduction of a brand new e-learning course – Mental Health & Wellbeing in the Workplace. Mental health and wellbeing is an integral part of how we feel about our jobs, how well we perform and how well we interact with our colleagues, customers and clients. While your employer is primarily responsible for providing an environment to support the mental health and wellbeing of their staff, all employees also have a duty of care for their own health and wellbeing and that of their colleagues.

Key areas covered in the course are:

  • The importance of health and wellbeing in the workplace
  • The law relating to health and wellbeing in the workplace
  • What is meant by mental health
  • The benefits to the organisation of maintaining good mental health
  • The benefits to you of maintaining good mental health
  • How to spot early warning signs of mental health problems
  • How to support yourself in times of need
  • What to do if you spot a colleague who needs support

The course will take no longer than 60 minutes to complete, including an assessment. Each member of staff will receive their own personalised certificate upon successful completion. Find out more

Mental Health at Work Report 2019

Business in the Community (BITC), in partnership with Mercer Marsh Benefits and BITC’s Wellbeing Leadership Team, has released the 2019 report ‘Time to Take Ownership’. This report shows that most employers do not acknowledge or deal with their adverse impact on their employees’ mental health. We are calling for businesses to take action in three ways:

    1. Create good work that enhance mental health. Good work is created by elements including security, fair pay and professional development.
    2. Acknowledge and support employees experiencing poor mental health, whatever the cause.
    3. Publicly report your wellbeing performance. Download the full report here

The Mental Health Toolkit for Line Manager

Developed in partnership with Action Mental Health and in consultation with a number of employers across public and private sector, this free resource has been designed for line managers. The Toolkit is intended to give you greater confidence to support an employee or colleague who may be showing signs of mental ill-health. The Toolkit broadly follows this model of before, during and after absence, and uses the Action Mental Health ‘Mindful Manager’ model of ‘Listen, Ask, Signpost and Support’ as a guiding framework. To download your free copy of the Toolkit, please click here

Mental Health Charter

Business in the Community supports the Equality Commission’s recently launched Mental Health Charter for employers and service providers and are encouraging businesses to join them in signing up. The Charter, jointly produced by the Equality Commission, Action Mental Health, Disability Action, Mindwise, Mental Health Foundation and Niamh, provides a framework for working towards mentally healthy workplaces.

Those who sign up to the Charter will undertake to promote good mental health which will be beneficial to their organisation, employees and the whole community in Northern Ireland. To find out more, visit:

For more information on how Business in the Community can help you to address mental ill-health in the workplace, please contact Denise Cranston on (028) 9046 0606.

Contact: Denise Cranston