Open Minds

Talking about mental health at work  

There are huge benefits to creating a workplace culture where it’s OK to talk about mental health. 

Opening up a dialogue about mental health in the workplace can result in:

  • More positive mental health (less depression, stress, burnout)
  • Better physical health
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Lower staff turnover
  • Improved work performance, motivation, commitment and energy
  • Less tension and conflict, more connectedness, kindness, tolerance and patience

The Mental Health Foundations Open Minds website provides practical information and tips to help you talk confidently about mental health at work. 

How to have a conversation about mental health

If you notice a team member is struggling with their mental health, don't ignore it. 

You don’t need any special skills to talk about mental health. You just need to be empathetic, approachable, and willing to listen.

It is as simple as 1, 2, 3

  1. Talk - about mental wellbeing: Make talking about wellbeing an everyday thing. Keeping the kōrero alive and open in your workplace positively affects mental wellbeing.

  2. Understand - what is supportive: To find out how you can support, listen non-judgmentally. Acknowledge the person’s feelings and don’t take them personally. Let them know you’re asking because you’re concerned about them. Their knowledge will help understanding, and support problem solving.

  3. Work together - for shared success: Work together to find solutions that work for both you and your team member, keeping the mana of everyone intact. Focus on strengths and abilities brought to the workplace and what resources you can both bring to tautoko (support) wellbeing and achieve shared goals

For more information on how to have a conversation about mental health at work read the guide on the Open Minds website.

A guide for managers

The Open Minds guide provides information and guidance for managers to support someone experiencing mental distress with the aim to retain them in the workforce.