There has been so much to celebrate and acknowledge in 2017 in the drive to change the stigma and attitudes to mental health in the workplace. The 2017 BITC report had some good news stories and the Stevenson-Farmer review, Thriving at Work, provides six ‘mental health core standards’ that lay the basic foundations for an approach to workplace mental health. These cover mental health at work plans, mental health awareness for employees, line management responsibilities and routine monitoring of staff mental health and wellbeing. Large employers and the public sector are expected to go even further, demonstrating best practice through external reporting and designated leadership responsibility.
In the work that I do, there is an openness and readiness to discuss mental health issues in the work place in a way I have not seen before. 2018 looks like it could be pivotal point in this journey. Empathetic and authentic leadership is one of the factors that will make a real difference. As each day goes by more information becomes accessible and more people are talking to each other about issues that they would not have raised in more recent times. As leaders start to step up to the challenge of leadership the greater chance we have of making a real and sustainable difference.