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Managing Mental Health in the Workplace

Recent research has found that more than three people in ten have experienced mental ill health while in employment1. A recent study in Ireland found that almost 1 in 5 Irish firms have experienced mental health related issues in the past year, with over half of firms reporting an increase in these issues in the last year2. In a Health of the Nation survey3 conducted in Ireland in 2022, 40% of respondents reported moderate or severe distress.

It is clear from these figures that people managers will often be faced with managing staff who are experiencing mental health challenges. However, line managers often lack the skills, knowledge, or training to support employees who are struggling and there is an increased demand on these soft skills within organisations. Less than a third of managers believe they are confident and competent at spotting the early warning signs of mental ill-health within their teams4.

At Irish Life Wellbeing, we are determined to change this. We are training managers with our new courses and workshops, which were designed by Chartered Psychologists and Coaches. our programmes address some of the following topics:

  • The role of a manager and how they can support their staff using a coaching approach
  • Signs & symptoms of common mental health conditions
  • Workplace risk and protective factors
  • Having sensitive conversations and understanding professional boundaries
  • Signposting to professional support and mental health treatment options

A changing landscape

Over the last number of years, wellbeing activity in organisations has increasingly focused on mental health. The Covid-19 pandemic acted as a catalyst, with increasing numbers of organisations focusing on the mental health of employees since the start of the pandemic. In recent years, there has been a gradual reduction in the stigma associated with mental health, resulting in line managers having more conversations with their teams about mental health challenges. Employers should strive to provide a safe culture and safe environment, where an employee feels comfortable in disclosing any mental health problems and feels able to ask for any supports needed5. It is important that managers are equipped with the necessary soft skills required for these conversations, and know where to signpost for further support where necessary.

Link in with your dedicated Irish Life Account Manager or Wellbeing Consultant or contact us at to find out how we can help.


  1. Mental Health In the Workplace (CIPD, 2021): mental-health-workplace_20230320T130105.pdf
  2. Healthy Workplace Ireland: A Survey of Mental Health & Wellbeing Promotion in Irish Firms (Cork University Business School, 2023):
  3. Health of the Nation Report (Irish Life, 2022):
  4. Health and Wellbeing at Work (CIPD, 2022):
  5. Mental health & wellbeing: A line manager’s guide (IBEC, 2018): An employers guide to mental health in the workplace - IBEC

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