Mental health in the workplace

Supporting the wellbeing and mental health of your employees should always be a priority, and never more so than now. We’re all dealing with the uncertainty brought on by the cost of living crisis and recent global and economic events, which can feel emotionally and financially overwhelming. That's why understanding mental health and the help available could make a big difference to you and your employees.

Awareness of mental health in society has never been higher. Supporting and nurturing employees to maintain or recover good mental health is simply the right thing to do in any business. And with 40 million working days lost1 due to mental health issues each year, it also makes sound commercial sense.

Resilience and strength are vital for business growth. A culture of openness and support is needed for your employees to open up about their mental health at work and share how they’re feeling.

1Source: Benenden Hospital Mental Health Report


“Lloyds Bank is committed to creating an inclusive and diverse culture in which all colleagues feel valued, understood, and supported to reach their full potential.

“Mental health is just as important as physical health. By ensuring appropriate resources, propositions and services are in place to support colleague mental and physical wellbeing, we enable them to be at their best. We are proud of our progress in this area, but we continue to learn every day from our colleagues, customers, and our partners.

“As a Disability Confident Leader organisation, we wanted to share some of the good practice that you can use in your business. Our guide, developed with Mental Health UK, provides insights into how supporting your employees with a mental health condition can benefit your business, and showcases some tools available to support you.”

Jas Singh – CEO, Consumer Lending and Disability & Neurodiversity Executive Ally, Lloyds Banking Group

What do we mean by mental health?

Mental health is a critical aspect of wellbeing that’s as important as good physical health.

We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. Both can fluctuate, so it’s vital that we look after them. In practice, being mentally healthy means ‘feeling good and functioning well’, whatever that looks like for you and your employees.

It’s crucial that conversations and support around mental health in the workplace are ongoing and consistent, not just confined to awareness days or when an issue has arisen. No-one is expecting you to become a mental health professional, but you can make a significant difference to someone’s mental health with just a few tools as outlined in this guide. 

As an employer, the first step is learning to recognise when there might be an issue. Here are four things you can do:

  • Look out for tell-tale signs such as changes in behaviour, including low mood or deteriorating colleague or customer relationships
  • Schedule regular 1-1 meetings that don’t solely focus on work topics
  • Create an environment where wellbeing is considered
  • Step in to offer or signpost support, such as talking to a GP or visiting mental health websites

These simple steps can prevent someone’s mental health from deteriorating so they can continue to thrive at work. You should also be mindful of changes to your own behaviour and how your mental health might impact your company’s culture.

Investing this extra effort into employee wellbeing will also help build resilience in your business and strengthen your relationships, which in turn can contribute to growth.


“As responsible employers, it is not only good for our people but also makes good commercial sense to support everyone with their wellbeing. That’s why we’re committed to helping organisations take the next step to having a mentally healthy workforce.”

Brian Dow – Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health UK

The benefits of building wellbeing into your business

Supporting your employees’ mental health can benefit staff, businesses, society and the economy.

Finding and keeping the best employees

Research from organisations such as Mind shows that businesses with a reputation for taking mental health and wellbeing seriously are better able to attract and retain the highest quality candidates. This can help reduce recruitment costs when your other bills might be increasing. Keeping your best employees will also help their colleagues as there will be more stability and a stronger sense of teamwork.

Improved productivity

Happy employees who feel supported with their mental health and wellbeing will typically be more productive. Taking a proactive approach to conversations around mental health will create an inclusive environment where your employees can flourish. It will also reduce absenteeism and presenteeism in the workplace.

Reducing the stigma

There’s still more work to be done by society and employers to break down the stigma around mental health. By encouraging employees to be open about their mental health so they can bring their whole selves to work, a culture of trust, diversity, and fresh thinking is more likely to thrive. Workplaces can benefit from employees sharing their stories as it normalises mental health issues.

Minimising the impact of organisational changes

Building wellbeing into your business can help when decisions affecting employees have to be made. For example, when changing someone’s role or working patterns, issues such as psychological safety* and employee engagement are important in making people part of the process.

*The belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes.

Investing in personal and business growth for good 

Updated NICE guidelines on mental wellbeing at work were published in March 2022 as part of a collaboration with Public Health England.

The recommendations contain guidance for employers on how to approach mental health in the workplace and support employee wellbeing. The table below is an overview of some of the main considerations. The list is not exhaustive, and different employees will value and benefit from a range of tools.  

NICE recommendation

Actions for your business

NICE recommendation

Strategic approaches to improving mental wellbeing in the workplace

Actions for your business

  • Embed a proactive approach to mental health in your business
  • Focus on prevention when it comes to workload, autonomy and culture

NICE recommendation

Supportive work environment

Actions for your business

  • Foster a positive, compassionate and inclusive working environment
  • Encourage peer support 

NICE recommendation

Organisation-wide approaches

Actions for your business

  • Use staff surveys and 1-1 engagement to help shape your company’s mental health policies
  • Involve your employees in minimising causes of stress

NICE recommendation

Training and support for managers

Actions for your business

  • Provide education and support to line managers on mental health issues
  • Encourage managers to tailor workload / workplace arrangements for their team members

NICE recommendation

Individual-level approaches

Actions for your business

  • Facilitate open and transparent conversations on mental health issues
  • Provide access to useful apps and additional support

There’s more to mental wellbeing than trying to stop problems from happening. Instead, you should be regularly exploring ways to promote a positive culture. As an employer, it’s essential you look after your own mental health too, so you can be there for your staff.

How to foster a supportive environment when people are working remotely

Employee working patterns have changed:

  • In May 2022, the proportion of people hybrid working rose to 24%
  • The percentage working exclusively from home was 14%
  • In February 2022, 78% of those who worked from home in some capacity said doing so gave them an improved work-life balance

Source: Office for National Statistics – Is Hybrid Working Here to Stay – 23 May 2022

But what does this mean from a mental health and wellbeing perspective?

Keeping in touch
Ensuring your employees don’t feel isolated when working from home can help to prevent stress and mental health issues. Regular check-ins via video call, email or instant messaging that include some social elements will make a difference.

Spotting the signs
It’s not easy to notice changes in behaviour when your employees work remotely. Things to look out for may include changes in their physical appearance, tone of voice and poor punctuality.

Having an ‘open door’ policy
For employees working from home, it’s important to reassure them you’re always there, ready to listen, however they prefer to communicate with you.

Building trust
Setting clear and measurable objectives for your work-from-home employees can help establish and maintain trust. Focusing on outcomes rather than location gives both parties a clear sense of expectation without the need for micromanaging or creating unnecessary stress.

One way to be proactive and open up conversations around mental health is to have a wellbeing workplan standard in place. This approach is better than reactively implementing something following mental ill health absences.

Tips for helping work-from-home employees feel included:

  • Ensure you copy them into all relevant emails
  • Use reliable technology for instant messaging and online calls
  • Involve them in all discussions that affect their work
  • Invite them to any in-person or virtual social events

Improving resilience in your workforce

At Lloyds Bank, we’ve embraced the NICE recommendations alongside our ongoing support for colleagues through the following measures: 

Developing mental health awareness among employees

Encouraging open conversations

Providing tools and resources

Developing mental health awareness among employees

  • E-learning modules
  • Hosting calls with experts

Encouraging open conversations

  • Participating in Mental Health Awareness Week
  • Creating mini-campaigns to raise awareness

Providing tools and resources

  • Sharing case studies from leaders and colleagues
  • Proven ways to reduce stress and anxiety, such as access to the Headspace app

Working in partnership with Mental Health UK, we’ve also created a hub providing tips and guidance for improving mental health and building resilience to help set you and your business up for success. The content includes tips on how to talk about mental health and tips on managing stress and anxiety and much more.


A tale of transformation

Su Pillinger, a Lloyds Bank employee, shares her mental health journey.

Hitting rock bottom

“I remember the overwhelming feelings of emptiness and fear that I experienced when I was in the grip of my breakdown. I couldn’t sleep, had zero appetite and had no interest in anything going on around me. As a bubbly person, I realised very early on that this was more than simply ‘being stressed’.”

An understanding ear

“I am forever grateful for the support from my then-line manager, who had personal experience of a similar condition. He went out of his way to ensure I could return to work in a safe environment without too much pressure to get straight back to my normal routine.”

Committed to helping others

“By regularly talking about my condition and learning new ways to cope with situations, I am now in a great place and proud to be a mental health advocate.”

Su Pillinger – Lloyds Bank employee

Mental Health UK Logo

Build mental resilience

Developed in partnership with Mental Health UK, our hub provides tips and guidance for improving mental health and building resilience to help set you and your business up for success.

How to build mental resilience

Useful links

There’s a wide range of support available on mental health at work and employee wellbeing, including the links below.

Mental Health UK: 40 years’ experience supporting people affected by mental health issues.

Mental Health & Money Advice: Practical advice and support for people experiencing issues with mental health and money.

Mental Health at Work: Find resources to support your managers and staff, and assess your organisation’s approach.

Mind: Provides dedicated mental health support for employees and employers.

Headspace: A global leader in meditation and mindfulness with 100s of themed sessions.

The Prince’s Responsible Business Network: Explore toolkits and factsheets to help your business build resilience.

Important legal information

Lloyds Bank is a trading name of Lloyds Bank plc, Bank of Scotland plc, Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc and Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH.

Lloyds Bank plc. Registered Office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 2065. Bank of Scotland plc. Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Registered in Scotland no. SC327000. Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc. Registered office 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 10399850. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 119278, 169628 and 763256 respectively.

Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc. Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH has its registered office at Thurn-und-Taxis Platz 6, 60313 Frankfurt, Germany. The company is registered with the Amtsgericht Frankfurt am Main, HRB 111650. Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH is supervised by the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht.

Eligible deposits with us are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). We are covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Please note that due to FSCS and FOS eligibility criteria not all business customers will be covered.

While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information provided is correct, no liability is accepted by Lloyds Bank for any loss or damage caused to any person relying on any statement or omission. This is for information only and should not be relied upon as offering advice for any set of circumstances. Specific advice should always be sought in each instance.