Launch of free mental health resource to help businesses

Having sensitive conversation

To mark World Mental Health Day (10th October), a new resource is being launched to help managers spot the signs of mental ill-health and to offer advice on talking to team members about their mental health.

Published by the non-profit membership organisation, Business Disability Forum, and sponsored by Anglo American, ‘Having sensitive conversations’ is a free 7-page downloadable resource. It provides detailed and practical guidance on:

Creating a culture of openness and trust.

Spotting the signs that someone may be in mental distress.

Planning for and holding sensitive conversations with team members.

Maintaining boundaries and looking after your own mental health.

Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum, said:

“With poor mental health expecting to cost the global economy 16 trillion US dollars by 2030, employers cannot afford to ignore the signs of mental ill-health in the workplace. Yet, recent research published by BITC shows that only 13 per cent of managers have attended specific training on mental health.

“Being aware of the signs of mental illness, and having the confidence and knowledge to discuss concerns, can help ensure colleagues receive support in good time and can prevent mental health problems from escalating.

“We hope our new resource will equip more people to begin informed conversations about mental health in the workplace.”

Stephen Pearce, Group Finance Director, Anglo American, said:

“We know that mental health can be impacted by our working environment, as well as our external environment and individual circumstances.  Businesses therefore have a critical role to play in recognising mental health as a shared responsibility for us all in the workplace.

“Leadership and business commitment are critical enablers to develop and sustain an inclusive environment that supports a mentally healthy workplace for everyone and where everyone can bring their whole selves to work.

“This resource raises awareness of mental health and provides practical help to understand the roles and responsibilities we have to each other as human beings, and as colleagues in the workplace.”

Business Disability Forum’s ‘Having Sensitive Conversations’ resource is available to download at

Business Disability Forum is a leading non-profit membership organisation which exists to transform the life chances of disabled people in employment, economic growth and society more widely. It brings together businesses, disabled people and Government to understand what needs to change and to provide practical and evidence-based solutions.

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