Close
Learning Methods
Classroom
A traditional classroom couples on-site learning with the added value of face-to-face interaction with instructors and peers. With courses and exams scheduled worldwide, you will be sure to find a class near you.
Interaction
Highly Interactive
On-going interaction with instructor throughout the entire classroom event
Interaction with peers/professionals via face-to-face
Components (May Include)
Onsite
On-site instructor-led delivery of course modules, discussions, exercises, case studies, and application opportunities
Supplemental learning elements such as: audio/video files, tools and templates, articles and/or white papers
E-course materials available two weeks prior to the course start date; printed course materials ship directly to the event location
Duration
One + Days
Varies by course ranging from one to multiple days
Technical Needs
Specific requirements are clearly noted on the course page
Virtual Classroom
Ideal for those who appreciate live education instruction, but looking to save on travel. A virtual classroom affords you many of the same learning benefits as traditional–all from the convenience of your office.
Interaction
Highly Interactive
On-going interaction with instructor throughout the entire virtual classroom event
Interaction with peers/professionals via online environment
Components (May Include)
Live online instructor-led delivery of course modules, discussions, exercises, case studies, and application opportunities
Supplemental learning elements such as: audio/video files, tools and templates, articles and/or white papers
E-course materials available up to one week prior to the course start date. Recorded playback and supplemental materials available up to seven days after the live event.
Duration
Varies by course ranging from one to multiple sessions
Technical Needs
Adobe Flash Player
Acrobat Reader
Computer with sound capability and high-speed internet access
Phone line access
E-Learning
A self-paced, online learning experience that allows you to study any time of day. Course material is pre-recorded by an instructor and you have the flexibility to view content modules as desired.
Interaction
Independent Learning
Components (May Include)
Pre-Recorded
Pre-recorded course modules
Supplemental learning elements such as: audio/video files, online quizzes
E-course materials start on the day of purchase
Optional purchased print material ships within 7 business days
Duration
120 Days - Anytime
120-day access starts on the day of purchase
Direct access to all components
Technical Needs
Adobe Flash Player
Acrobat Reader
Computer with sound capability and high-speed internet access
Close
Contact Sponsor
E-Reward
Online
Paul Thompson
Phone: 1 44 01614322584
Contact by Email | Website
Close
Sorry, you can't add this item to the cart.
You have reached the maximum allowed quantity for purchase in your cart or the item isn't available anymore.
Product successfully added to your cart!
Price
View your cart
Continue shopping
Please note our website will be down this Friday, November 5 from 9pm ET – 11pm ET for routine maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.
WORKSPAN
NOVEMBER 24, 2021 |

The Power of Workplace Mental Health Literacy Training


FatCamera / iStock

The pre-pandemic mental health crisis has only grown as COVID-19 has spread. In the workplace, disability claims related to mental health continue to increase. If there was ever a time for prevention, this is it.

When an employee has a mental health problem that requires them to be on medical leave, employer instincts are to focus on the individual and their path to recover. These are important areas of focus. Disability leaves carry a high cost, for both employer and employee. Getting the employee better — and shortening the recovery path — is a priority for all.


But one form of support that’s not well-ingrained, and often overlooked, is the input of leaders, managers and co-workers. An individual focus remains important. But what if a simple, inexpensive collective action — workplace mental health literacy training — could shorten the recovery path and potentially avoid the need for a leave?

Leaders, managers and co-workers are ideally positioned to help. In many cases, they know the affected individual intimately. But they don’t have the mental health knowledge to recognize issues. They also lack confidence and concrete strategies on how to handle it.

Training Brings Results

Recent research builds on earlier findings that even a short amount of mental health literacy training — as little as two hours — can provide organizational benefits for months. It can reduce mental health suffering, shorten or avoid disability leaves, and enable successful returns to work when a leave occurs.

A meta-analysis by Aimée Gayed and colleagues published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that the benefits of training operate on two levels.

  • First, the training can increase leader and manager understanding of mental health issues and their roles and responsibilities when it comes to employee mental health.
  • Second, it can shift their attitude more empathetically toward mental health in the workplace, which encourages them to address mental health concerns among direct reports.

Other studies have found that co-worker mental health literacy training increased not only knowledge but employee self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is an individual's beliefs about their ability to organize and implement actions to achieve a specific performance. It’s the interaction between behavior, cognition and environment. In terms of mental health support, it’s having a belief that you can help others seek the help they need — or seek it for yourself.

We know from research that if high self-efficacy leads to a higher willingness to use and recommend resources (Employee and family assistance programs, for example, are often under-used). Both managers and coworkers can aid in the “resource use” process by providing direct support and improving awareness of those resources. Managers, in particular,

are uniquely positioned to step in and provide specific feedback or suggestions about resources, especially if job performance is suffering.

Finally, a key side benefit of workplace mental health literacy training is that it lets leaders and co-workers become advocates for their own mental health. And people who are confident in managing their personal mental health are more likely to report engaging in behaviors that support their well-being. That allows them to effectively role model positive well-being, behavior and self-care.

Organizational Opportunity

While mental health literacy training has proven benefits, the issue is that this training is underused. A study by Negrini and colleagues published in the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation looked specifically at how managers supported employees who were returning to work after experiencing depression (the most frequent diagnosis for mental health disability claims).

The study compared the most frequently implemented actions to the least. The most frequently implemented actions — above 90% frequency — were providing emotional support to the employee and ensuring that the employee had time off for medical appointments.

The least frequently implemented actions — less than 40% of the time — were training for coworkers and supervisors. This suggests a huge opportunity to improve support for workplace mental health through increased literacy training.

There are many consulting firms and professionals who can deliver effective mental health training. And in larger organizations, some internal HR team members may have been trained to deliver it.

If your organization already has a mental health strategy, align your training with it. This can generate more traction and uptake. If your organization doesn’t have such a strategy, mental health training can be an excellent foundation for building one. In this way, training could set things in motion to make an even greater impact on workplace mental health in the future.

In addition, here are three other actions that can supplement formal mental health literacy training.

  • Identify other mental health literacy resources. Connect with your HR partner and get their input on how you can bring additional mental health literacy to your team. These resources may be available from government agencies, through private consulting firms, or your own employee and family assistance program.
  • Create a calendar of training, every year.Expand the mental health conversation beyond a one-time event. Out of sight means out of mind, so regular mental health reminders are critical. Scheduling mental health training and related events throughout the year increases the chance that the right information will be there at the right time for the right people, even with employee turnover.
  • Communicate personally and confidently about mental health. If you’re a manager or leader, there are many ways you can communicate with your team about mental health to increase understanding and decrease stigma. This may mean acknowledging when you take a mental health day. Or sharing that you used the employee and family assistance program proactively to address issues you were having. No matter how many times you tell your team that you support mental health, nothing is going to speak louder than modelling it. And make the conversation two way, giving employees a chance to discuss their role and life stresses. This can prevent stress from developing into something more severe, including an absence from work.

One of the social determinants of health is social support. Mental health literacy training encourages this type of outreach. These short, targeted training mental health literacy training sessions can provide significant long-term benefits.

By increasing mental health literacy now, employers can improve issue prevention, decrease workplace absence and improve mental health.

About the Author

Marie-Hélène Pelletier, PhD, MBA, is a workplace mental health strategist, registered psychologist and professional speaker who teaches at the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business.


About WorldatWork

WorldatWork is a professional nonprofit association that sets the agenda and standard of excellence in the field of Total Rewards. Our membership, signature certifications, data, content, and conferences are designed to advance our members’ leadership, and to help them influence great outcomes for their own organizations.

About Membership

Membership provides access to practical resources, research, emerging trends, a professional network, and career-building education and certification. Learn more and join today.