Toolkits and Templates: Mental health and wellbeing policy template and best practices

When it comes to drafting your mental health and wellbeing policy, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Hopefully, this template can provide some guidance on how to get started, offer some ideas on what to include, and show you the various ways you can structure it.

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When it comes to drafting your mental health and wellbeing policy, it can be difficult to know where to start. Mental health is such a broad topic that encompasses so many different conditions, so writing about it comprehensively can seem like a daunting prospect.

Hopefully, this template can provide some guidance on how to get started, what to include, and the various ways you can structure it.

At Fertifa, we understand that every company is unique and there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of your employees. The following template is by no means a must-follow blueprint, but a series of suggestions to help show you what a mental health and wellbeing policy might look like, and examples from companies we think have written theirs well.

A mental health and wellbeing policy template

It’s always a good idea to start by explaining why you're putting a mental health and wellbeing policy in place. One way of doing this is by describing why supporting mental illness in the workplace is a priority at your company followed by how you believe a policy will help achieve this.

Remember to include inclusive language so that your employees understand that the support and procedures described apply to everyone, including them.

Here’s some examples of points you might want to include in your opening explanation. Whether you choose to include any of these is entirely up to you! But hopefully they can give you an idea of the type of statement you may want to open with.

• We’ve created this policy to help foster the open, honest and supportive company culture we’re aiming to create

• At [company name], we understand the crucial role company’s have in supporting employees with their mental health. With this policy in place, we’ll ensure that we maintain standards, and hold ourselves accountable for delivering on our mental health support promises

• Through this policy, we hope to emphasise that [company name] does not discriminate against those struggling with their mental health

Your policy statement

As with any policy, your mental health and wellbeing policy should have an opening statement that outlines what your company hopes to achieve from putting it in place. This can include ensuring staff wellbeing is maintained as best as possible, clarifying certain procedures, or fostering an informed workforce who are aware of the potential impacts of mental health struggles, but don't be afraid to express yourself and showcase your company values!

Here are some working examples from mental health policies we feel are comprehensive, inclusive and clear:

• At [company name], we’re committed to protecting employees and promoting mental health support and positive conversation

• We’re committed to enhancing our company culture by identifying and eliminating/minimising processes, procedures and behaviours that may contribute to mental health issues

• We strive to promote mental health awareness throughout our workforce by providing training programmes to all our employees

• Clarify who the policy is meant to benefit – Don’t assume all your employees know the policy applies to them. It’s always a good idea to mention that the policy is in place to support all employees through any mental health challenges they might be facing.

• Explain how the policy will be monitored and reviewed – For example, “this policy will be reviewed every year…” This just shows that you are willing to adapt and edit your policy if needed

Remember, don’t feel you have to limit yourself to the above. Feel free to explain why employee health and wellbeing matters at your company and why it’s a priority.

Policy objectives and actions to meet them

An “objective & action” policy structure is a great way to clearly outline your targets and describe how you intend to meet them. We understand that every company will have its own objectives when it comes to creating a suitable mental health strategy. We’ve put together a few examples of the objectives we think are likely to apply to many different workplaces.

Remember, these are only our suggestions of what you might want to include. Be sure to add to, edit or change these objectives to align with your company's values and goals.

Objective 1: To provide information, increase employee knowledge and raise awareness around mental health issues at work


• Manager training to foster an understanding of the importance of mental health wellbeing to all employees

• Ensuring that all employees receive a copy of this policy during the induction process and have continued access to the policy throughout their employment

• Providing relevant training to managers and senior leaders on recognising mental health issues and supporting employees

• Providing regular wellbeing visits, ‘lunch & learn,’ sessions and other mental health promotion campaigns throughout the year

• Promote healthier lifestyle choices within mental health settings and contexts (healthier food options at work, access to physical activity, stop smoking campaigns...)

Objective 2: To develop and maintain a supportive work environment, address factors that may negatively affect mental health, and prevent discrimination


• Providing effective training to further understanding and reduce the stigma relating to mental health issues

• Implementing measures at all levels of the organisation that provide a workplace and culture that promotes good mental health and wellbeing

• Listening to our employees and implementing/adapting workplace and recreational health policies to support our mental health and wellbeing policy

Objective 3: To develop management skills and ensure management arrangements reflect HSE good practice


• Implementing effective arrangements for identifying workplace stressors and conducting risk assessments to minimise their impact

• Providing training for all managers in good management practices in mitigating workplace or normal stresses

• Promoting a healthy work environment in which employees are encouraged to offer feedback on any aspects of their jobs that adversely affect their mental health

• Ensuring managers and supervisors are aware of their responsibilities towards their team, including setting and managing performance in a manner that is consistent with this policy

Objective 4: To provide proactive support for employees experiencing mental health difficulties inside and outside the workplace


• Ensuring we provide appropriate support and access to mental health services for employees struggling with their mental wellbeing

• Ensuring that any employee suffering from mental illness is treated fairly, respectfully, and without discrimination

• Provide the relevant mental health training to line managers and employees in the range of support available and how to access it

• Health lead training - training mental health first aiders to support the goals of this policy through specialist programmes (such as Mental Health First Aid)

Objective 5: To clarify to manager and employees what the correct responses are to incidents concerning mental health issues in the workplace
At Fertifa, we understand that responses to workplace mental health incidents will look slightly different from company to company. Those listed below are examples of responses currently in practice at other companies. Feel free to remove, edit, tailor or add to these responses to reflect your company’s working environment and employees' needs.

Response to disclosure of mental health issues:

• Employees who are experiencing issues with their mental health can find general information on sources of support [in the Directory of Mental Health Services].

• If an employee is concerned about the mental health of a colleague, they can [raise these concerns with their line manager]

• Managers who become concerned about the mental wellbeing of a colleague can [inform HR]

• If an employee advises they are off sick due to their mental wellbeing, managers should [follow the Mental Wellbeing Early Intervention flowchart found on the company intranet or inform them of the relevant care pathways, where to find health experts, confidential health assessment providers, receive necessary health checks...]

• Mental health resources and information available include [directory of mental health services, helpline, peer support…]

Response to working exposure to trauma:

Some of the measures listed below may not apply to your company.

[Company name] acknowledges that they have a duty of care to carry out risk assessments in work areas to identify scenarios that could bring about traumatic experiences for employees

• Single incident traumas such as [accidents, traffic collision] can be reported to [Occupational Health].

• Support after trauma is triggered by [the events itself, request from staff member, request from manager].

Policy review and monitoring

Having a plan in place to monitor and review your policy shows that you are adaptable as a company. There's no rule when it comes to how often you should review your policy, so feel free to revisit as regularly as is suitable! Here are some examples of review processes in action to give you an idea of how and when other companies are doing so:

Employees participating in any of the mental wellbeing activities will be regularly asked for feedback

• The mental wellbeing activities will be included in an annual ‘health at work audit’

• The policy, status updates and evaluation reports will be circulated to management and be available on request through a workplace mental health champion

• The human resources department (or an individual as appropriate) will be responsible for reviewing the mental wellbeing policy and for monitoring how effectively the policy meets its aims and objectives

• The policy will be reviewed annually from implementation

Further inspiration and sample policies

If you're looking for other mental health policy templates, take a look at any of the sample policies listed below:

NHS 111:Please see this NHS England guide if you need urgent care or assistance for a mental health emergency in the workplace.

If you need support on any of the above or want to discover how Fertifa can help you meet your HR goals, please don’t hesitate to get in touch 💜