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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness
 Work and mental health

Network of good practice

Finding help and support for you as an employer and your employee

It can be helpful to access the expertise of companies who have built up good practice in managing mental health conditions.  There are a variety of groups for businesses, whether you are a large multi-national, or a small business, or are in the private or public sector. 

Some of the resources developed by these groups are specific to mental health but others relate to other long-term or fluctuating health conditions.   These groups can often help when you are looking for specialist occupational health services which cannot be provided from within your organisation. 


Links to resources:

Mindful Employer

This is a network of organisations who have signed up to a voluntary agreement aimed at increasing awareness of mental health at work and providing ongoing support for employers in the recruitment and retention of staff.  Examples of the resources that this organisation provides include:

*   Information and resource

*   Signposting to support agencies

*   Links to other employers who may have had similar experiences

*   Training in mental health awareness

*   Accesss to job retenttion services

*   Local employere networks

*   Examples of good practice

*   Local Practical, hands-on support


Business in the Community (BITC)

This is a network of some 830 businesses.  BITC provides support and advice as well as forums and knowledge sharing opportunities.  BITC has been running a health and well-being programme called Business Action on Health since 2007.


Employers’ Forum on Disability

Employers' Forum on Disability is an employers' organisation focused on disability as it affects business. Their mission is to enable companies to become disability confident by making it easier to recruit and retain disabled employees and to serve disabled customers.  Members are drawn from multinational corporations, Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) and the public sector.  EFD is widely recognised as setting the standard for disability best practice. Members can access specialist advice and consultancy services.


British Association for Supported Employment

The British Association for Supported Employment is the national trade association representing hundreds of agencies involved in securing employment for people with disabilities. The association aims to raise awareness of supported employment, represent the sector on a collective basis, inform members, and encourage best practice. BASE facilitates regional member networks and supports providers and employers by being a hub of information and good practice.  This website includes information and local support for employers.


Shaw Trust

Tackling the last workplace taboo

This website has been developed by the Shaw Trust and focuses on how employers can manage mental health issues in the workplace.  It includes sign posts to specialist support as well as the services provided by the Shaw Trust. 

The Shaw Trust has almost 30 years experience of working with people with disabilities and health conditions in the workplace, including providing practical, tailored solutions for all employers, from small family firms, to large corporates, the public sector, the third sector and insurers.


Health 4 Work Adviceline

This free telephone advice line is aimed at small businesses.  It aims to provide support to businesses to help you:-

*   Find the advice and support needed to help an employee experiencing ill health

*   Develop a plan to effectively and sympathetically deal with employee sickness absence

 Establish how to deal with a similar problem in the future, should they occur

*   Think differently about your business and the investment you could make in a healthy workplace

There are links to occupational health services through NHS Plus, which is a network of over 100 NHS occupational health providers in England.  The services offered by an occupational health provider include case management, health surveillance, return to work interviews and how to deal with staff who are experiencing mental health issues.

There are equivalent advice lines in Scotland and Wales:

Scotland: Healthy Working Lives Adviceline

Tel: 0800 019 2211

Wales: Health at Work Advice Line

Tel: 0800 107 0900



Health, Work and Well-being Co-ordinators are in place in each of the English regions, Scotland and Wales. Their role is to facilitate an integrated approach to health and employment at a local level. The aim of the co-ordinator network is to help reduce the overall incidence of work related ill-health and to promote best practice and innovation on health, employment and skills. There work is focussed on businesses with up to 250 employees.


Disability Employment Advisers

DEAs are employment specialists, who are usually based in Job Centres and who work in partnership with external disability organisations, as well as with potential employees and employers. They can contact through the local Job Centre.


Employee Assistance Professionals Association

EAPA is the professional body for Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs).  It represents the interests of professionals concerned with employee assistance, psychological health and well being in the UK.  EAPA members include external and internal EAP providers, purchasers, counsellors, consultants and trainers.

EAPs address team and individual performance and well being in the workplace.  They include a mechanism for providing counselling and other forms of assistance, advice and information to employees on a systematic and uniform basis, and to recognised standards.  EAPs are strategic interventions designed to produce organisational benefit - quantifiable outcome measurement - through a systems-lead approach and human asset management.


The Money Advice Service

Helpful advice for those who may need to adjust to events such as retirement or losing a job owing to redundancy, for example.

Other sources of help & support


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Page updated October '11