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Making a Difference


Surveys of Employees

Published in February 2016, Keep Talking About Mental Health is our second survey of people working for MINDFUL EMPLOYER Charter signatories. This survey indicates a clear link between the level of awareness of the Charter and the ability to talk about mental health. Two-thirds of employees with a current condition who knew their employer was a signatory were able to talk to the manager about their situation. Like our previous survey (see below) this one also indicates that the most likely response to such disclosure is one where the manager listens, is supportive and is understanding – and not the negative response that is often feared. Other findings among employees was that the most common reason for not talking about mental ill health was the fear it would go against them, yet the least common response by the employer was disciplinary action. The survey also showed that employers can do more to increase awareness of their commitment to the Charter and would benefit from investing in training and liaising more closely with doctors and healthcare professionals.

Let's Talk About Mental Health This survey of people working for MINDFUL EMPLOYER Charter signatories found that 3 in 5 employees had talked to their manager about a current mental health condition. Published in February 2014. 



This qualitative study published in July 2012, supported by Devon Partnership NHS Trust and Sheffield Hallam University considers how MINDFUL EMPLOYER has improved employer support for staff with mental health conditions. Containing recommendations and practical suggestions which employers can implement within the aims and aspirations of their own business. Click here for the full evaluation and here for an executive summary.


This is what people say about the difference being made by MINDFUL EMPLOYER:


Working for a MINDFUL EMPLOYER has been such an enlightening experience. The flexibility they offer has made a huge difference to how i manage my bipolar disorder. It means that when I am well I can put in the extra effort and hours so I don't feel so guilty when I am not so well and struggling. I have never worked for such a positive and proactive organisation; they are great.     
N, Centre for Mental Health, London


Devon and Cornwall Police have been proud to work with MINDFUL EMPLOYER since its inception, the information and support provided has been invaluable to us. There is something for everyone regardless of your business and size. We have recently set up a Mental Health Toolkit on our intranet site and included the online resources for Line Managers and staff within this in this. I would encourage everyone to have a look around the MINDFUL EMPLOYER website to see what is available and find out more.      
Rachel Ackland, Force Mental Health and Welfare Adviser, Devon & Cornwall Police


In one sense, for a Christian organisation, becoming a MINDFUL EMPLOYER could be described as obvious – a “no-brainer”, or what we should be doing anyway. But becoming one, it has helped us with both employees and volunteers. It has helped us to support people more holistically, to provide an open space for people to talk freely about any issues surrounding mental health  - and those which might affect them indirectly with other members of their family as some are also carers for those with mental health issues. MINDFUL EMPLOYER has become a lens through which we look at all issues relating to employment and personal development. I cannot put a price on this, but for us it is about caring for the whole person and ensuring the best productivity. It’s a cliché but its true and needs expanding. A healthy workforce is a happy  workforce is a productive workforce.    
Rev Tim Sledge, Vicar, Romsey Abbey, Romsey, Hampshire


As a signatory to the MINDFUL EMPLOYER initiative, we have tried to ensure that mental health issues are part of the diversity mind-set of all staff.  We have been through a stress management review and have undertaken a number of initiatives to enhance arrangements for managing work related stress.  These include a plan to roll out a stress risk assessment tool as part of our university’s management toolkit portfolio. Additionally, we include a section on mental health as part our recruitment and selection training. This training also includes a workshop on unconscious bias and although this has a BME emphasis it also includes strategies for addressing bias and prejudice with other protected characteristics and encourages staff to look at how the person meets the employee specification making the recruitment and selection process more transparent and inclusive.     
Ian Clarke, Equality and Diversity Manager, Leeds Beckett University (formerly Leeds Metropolitan University)


Being a Charter signatory has helped us to keep the goals in the forefront of our minds – it helps us when we review our Human Resource policies as well as in the daily  working of the agency. Also, it is a most useful tool if talking to local employers. The Charter is so simple and user-friendly that it can actually attract attention just because of the lack of jargon or “government speak” and so gets a positive response.     
Janet Pollard, Support to Recovery, Huddersfield


Portland College is an independent specialist college providing support to learners with a wide range of disabilities. We feel it is important as an employer that we recruit staff who can act as positive role models and advocates for learners and staff with disabilities. We take a proactive approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and have dedicated champions for each of the protected characteristics within the Equality Act 2010. Key managers undertake Mental Health First Aid training and we provide confidential ‘Drop in Sessions’ for staff where they can talk to health care professionals regarding concerns or issues they may be facing.  It has helped us as an organisation to work through the MINDFUL EMPLOYER Charter to de-stigmatise some of the issues surrounding mental health. It has enabled us to review our practices and ensure that the health and well-being of our workforce is paramount for all of our successes.     
Brian Harrison, Customer Services Manager, Portland College


From my perspective I would say that the MINDFUL EMPLOYER enables Devon Partnership NHS Trust to:

  • Make a public commitment to the Charter to demonstrate the organisation’s desire to improve and embrace existing and potential new staff that may have or have experienced mental health issues to ensure that they are fully supported in the workplace.

  • Show how progress towards the Charter reflects good business practice provides support and assurance that the organisation is committed to improving in this area.

  • Demonstrates that progress towards the Charter is enabling for organisations and provides a mechanism to self assess where you are currently and identify a way forward which can be undertaken at your own pace.

  • Enables the organisation to access support, networks and to potentially benchmark in order to share and develop any good practice across organisations and within the local community.

Darran Armitage, Associate Director of Human Resources & Organisational Development,  Devon Partnership NHS Trust


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