A guide for employers, people managers and HR managers in Leeds.
This guide can help you find the different kinds of support you can put in place for a team member who is struggling with their mental health – from reasonable adjustments to workplace support services.
In this page:
Make sure that your colleague is aware of your staff wellbeing policy, if you have one, and any support the organisation may provide such as occupational health, free counselling sessions, Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) or emotional support helpline.
People who are experiencing long-term difficulties with their mental health are considered to be disabled under the Equality Act 2010 and can ask their employer to make changes to help them do their job as well as someone without a disability. The adjustments have to be ‘reasonable’. What’s reasonable depends on the situation – like the size of the organisation you work for.
A long-term effect means something that has affected you or is likely to affect you for at least a year. If an employer doesn’t make the reasonable adjustments they have a duty to make, it could be discrimination.
The Disability Discrimination guide from Mind outlines how a person is protected from discrimination under the Equality Act and what their rights are.
Examples of reasonable adjustments include:
- time away from work
- flexible working
- providing work tasks in written form
- allowing use of paid or unpaid leave for medical appointments
- equal amount of break time, but in shorter, more frequent chunks
- allow someone to arrange their annual leave so that is spaced regularly throughout the year
- working from home at times
- temporary reallocation of some tasks
- providing a quiet space for breaks away from the main workspace
The Department of Health has issued helpful guidance on good practice in applying workplace adjustments for people experiencing mental health difficulties.
Even if your colleague is experiencing problems which might not be considered ‘long-term’ by the Equality Act – it could still be helpful to consider putting some adjustments in place which could help to support their wellbeing needs.
Access to Work
As well as talking to you about making reasonable adjustments, your employee can apply for Access to Work if extra help is needed. They’ll be offered support based on their needs, which may include a grant to help cover the costs of practical support such as help getting to and from work.
Occupational health advice can be beneficial in supporting individuals to manage their health problems at home and at work, and can support a faster return to work from sickness absence. Visit the NHS Health at Work website for more information on occupational health. Fit for Work offers free, expert, impartial occupational health advice to both employers and employees. You can browse online resources, chat online to a specialist advisor, email a question or call a free advice line on 0800 032 6235.
Mental health support
On the MindWell website there is lots of information about mental health support available in Leeds. Follow the below links to find out more about:
- wellbeing or resilience training
- seek help from GP
- social prescribing
- peer support and support groups
Workplace support services
Workplace Leeds (part of Leeds Mind) offers free Job Retention Support to people over the age of 18 who are struggling with work commitments because of mental health difficulties, or, are off sick and wanting to return. You need to be accessing support from a service such as LiveWell Leeds to be eligible. Find out more about criteria and referral on the Workplace Leeds website.
Able Futures – Access to Work Mental Health Support Service offers free and confidential support to people from the age of 16 who are having mental health difficulties that have an impact upon their work. The service can also provide employers with free education support and resources to help them support people experiencing problems in the workplace.
Remploy – Access to Work Mental Health Support Service is a confidential service funded by the Department for Work and Pensions. It’s available at no charge to any employees with depression, anxiety, stress or other mental health issues affecting their work. The service supports people who are absent from work or finding work difficult, to stay in, or return to their job.
Help for common mental health problems
If your colleague is experiencing a common mental health problem such as anxiety, low moods or stress – you can share MindWell self-help information in the Exloring your mental health section.
Support for a range of common mental health problems is also available through self-referral to: Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service.
Healthy living/wellbeing resources
The MindWell section Looking after your wellbeing has lots of information and resources to help people support their wellbeing and mental health including relaxation techniques and mindfulneses.
Many people find it helpful to use digital tools and apps to help manage their health and wellbeing.
There are a range of apps to help promote positive mental health which have been reviewed by ORCHA which is the world’s leading health app evaluation and advisor organisation.
Side by Side is a supportive online community run by national Mind which helps people share their experiences with people having similar experiences.
Togetherall (charges apply) is a safe online community of people who support and help each other by sharing what’s troubling them, guided by trained professionals. Togetherall is an anonymous, digital support and recovery service for people who are stressed, anxious or low. Available 24/7.
ACAS helpline – 0300 123 1100 – employees can call ACAS for free impartial and confidential guidance about any kind of query about relationship issues within the workplace.
Mind Legal Line – 0300 466 6463 – provides legal information and general advice on mental health-related law.
Help for different issues or major life events
It can also help to look at the situation. If your colleague is experiencing a particular issue or a major life event – explore our Mental Health Directory.
Leeds Bereavement Forum has a list of bereavement services available in the city.
ACAS guide to managing bereavement in the workplace
Carers Leeds have resources and information to help employers support working carers. Visit their employers hub.
Support for men
Our peer support and support groups section has a dedicated page with groups and activities for men in Leeds.
Visit the MindWell debt and money worries page for information on tools and apps that can help with these problems.
Information for children and young people
MindMate is a Leeds-based website for children and young people, their families and the professionals who support them. The website can help you explore emotional wellbeing and mental health issues and offer information about where support is available.
Support for alcohol or drug use
Find information and contact details for services that offer support for gender identity in our Mental Health Directory.
Equality and Human Rights Commission has a page outlining Gender Reassignment discrimination.
ACAS also has information about Gender Reassignment and the Equality Act 2010.
Bullying or harassment
ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) defines bullying and harassment as ‘any unwanted behaviour that makes someone feel intimidated, degraded, humiliated or offended.’ You can access information about bullying on the ACAS website including how to take action against bullying behaviour at work or call 0300 123 1100 for free and independent information on all aspects of workplace relations.
Help in a mental health emergency
For information about support in a crisis go to Need urgent help?
Tools and apps
Printed MindWell materials and health promotion resources
Printed resources which can be shared with colleagues including MindWell cards, the Leeds Crisis Card and How are you feeling? leaflets are available free of cost from the Leeds Public Health Resource Centre. Joining the Centre can also give you access to a wealth of public health leaflets, posters, resources, books, DVDs and CDs and health promotion campaigns.