Mental health in the workplace: the five ways to wellbeing

Gateway Family Services

The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day, set by the World Federation for Mental Health, was “mental health in the workplace”.

With one in six workers experiencing stress, depression or anxiety, and mental ill health costing UK employers £26 billion each year (OECD, 2014), employers have a clear duty of care.

So how can we begin to address wellbeing in the workplace?

One of the simplest ways is for staff – and employers – to learn the “Five Ways to Wellbeing”.

This is an evidence-based government strategy that sets out five simple actions a person can take to improve their wellbeing.

It’s based around self-awareness – by becoming more mindful of your own wellbeing, you can build confidence and resilience, and so reduce health risks.

“Be active” encourages physical activity because, put simply, exercise makes you feel better! Your regular activity could be anything from a ten minute stretch, or a walk in the park, to a bike ride or swim.

“Connect” is about engaging with the people around you.

When we run our wellbeing courses, we help participants to look at relationships and how to build them, whether that’s friends, family or neighbours.

Every area of the city has activities where you can meet likeminded people and share common interests.

“Give” is another way to create connections. After all, doing something for someone else is really rewarding, and it can be something as small as a smile! Whether you realise it or not, you’re probably already giving, but making some time to treat yourself can make it easier to do things for others.

“Keep learning” is all about challenging yourself to learn something new, or reconnecting with an old hobby or interest. Whether you want to learn to cook, learn a practical skill, or take on a new responsibility at home or work, trying something new is a good way to increase your confidence in all areas of life.

“Take notice” sounds easy, but most of us still need to be reminded occasionally! Becoming more aware of the world around you, and giving yourself time to reflect, is vital to your mental wellbeing.

So many of us complete our daily routines without taking much notice of nature or the changing seasons, but taking some time to reflect on the smallest experiences each day can help you to appreciate what matters to you.

Gateway Family Services delivers flexible, bespoke health and wellbeing courses to groups and individuals.

Could we deliver a wellbeing course at your workplace? For more information, contact Michelle Smitten on