Strategies for improving mental health in the workplace

  • 17 May 2024
  • Blog | Leadership & Strategy | Blog

Employee mental health should be an essential focus for all financial services organisations, particularly as the way we work – and life around us - changes. A multitude of factors such as remote working conditions and rapid digitalisation across the sector create different and complex challenges around tackling mental health, making it important for organisations to keep up with strategies and provide sufficient support.

Thanks to initiatives such as Mental Health Awareness Week, there is more focus on the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace, especially in high-pressure environments like those in the financial services and banking sectors. With employees facing various stressors, it's crucial for workplaces to implement strategies that promote mental health.

The Importance of Leadership

As outlined in the Chartered Body Alliance Mental Health Awareness podcast – which you can listen to here – leadership is the cornerstone of any mental health strategy. Leaders and line managers are often the first port of call for employees who need mental health support and have an impactful position in an organisation’s overall wellbeing. However, although leaders have a responsibility to ensure mental health strategies are implemented, it’s important to remember that they also need to have the appropriate support in place to know how to help and when to refer employees to alternative support options.

Create a Supportive Culture

Creating a culture which is accepting of mental health support is a critical step to overall wellbeing. A supportive work environment can significantly reduce stress in all employees and helps to mitigate the effect of worsening mental health issues for those who may be struggling. Encouraging open communication across all levels will help to ensure that employees know they have a safe space to discuss any concerns. This can be facilitated through regular check-ins between line managers and their team members and creating peer support groups.

Mental Health Training

Invest in mental health training for management and staff. Training can help employees recognise signs of mental health issues and provide them with the tools to seek help or support their colleagues effectively. This not only promotes awareness but also helps in destigmatising mental health in the workplace. As mentioned above, it’s also critical to ensure line managers and leaders have access to support for themselves and can identify when to refer their team members to different support providers.

Flexible Work Arrangements

Flexibility can be a key factor in reducing workplace stress. Consider offering options such as flexible working hours, the possibility of remote work, or compressed work weeks. This allows employees to balance their work and personal lives more effectively, potentially reducing stress and burnout.

Access to Mental Health Resources

Ensure that your employees have easy access to mental health resources. This might include an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), counselling services in-person or through apps for remote workers, or even referrals to mental health professionals. Providing financial support for these services can further encourage employees to seek the help they need.

Regular Feedback and Recognition

Recognising employees for their hard work and achievements can have a positive impact on their mental health. Regular feedback and opportunities to provide recognition allow employees to understand their progress and areas for improvement, creating a transparent environment that reduces anxiety and uncertainty.


Improving mental health in the workplace, especially within the high-stress environment of financial services and banking, is vital. By implementing these strategies, employers can create a healthier workplace that supports the mental well-being of their employees. Not only does this benefit the individuals, but it also leads to increased productivity and a more positive work environment overall.