5 Essentials When Implementing Mental Health Training

The goal of mental health trainings should be to open conversations about mental health; to normalize its prevalence in the workplace; and to equip people with tools to create a safe, engaged, productive workplace.


Bernie Wong | Senior Associate, Mind Share Partners

Jen Anderson | Chief Operating Officer, Mind Share Partners


This article was originally published on TrainingMag.com


Mental health training is not compliance training—it’s culture-change training. Without accepting attitudes and a supportive workplace culture, learning skills or rules won’t be effective.


Of course, while confidentiality laws such as the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and crisis management protocols are essential topics for mental health in the workplace, they are just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, they’re the bare minimum.


The goal of mental health trainings should be to open conversations about mental health; to normalize its prevalence in the workplace; and to equip people with tools to create a safe, engaged, productive workplace. However, these discussions can be difficult given the persisting stereotypes and misconceptions about individuals living with mental health conditions. 


In developing our own workshop offerings as an effective culture-change tool, Mind Share Partners has found five essentials to implementing mental health trainings:


Boost culture change with a supporting leadership message.


Studies show employees are reluctant to utilize benefits if they do not perceive their manager or company is openly supporting their use. Coupled with the particularly acute stigma around mental health conditions, employees are unlikely to take advantage of mental health supports without explicit encouragement by managers and the company. A supporting message from leadership goes a long way to eliminating stigma and making support feel authentic. 


In an especially impactful case, one of our client company’s CEO and Chief HR Officer each shared their own stories of the personal impact of mental health at an all-staff meeting. The messages were well-received, and employees felt the company’s efforts to support mental health was genuine. 


Explicit support doesn’t always have to be a personal share. Whether through an all-staff Slack message, a short mention during a team meeting, or an internal e-mail campaign during Mental Health Awareness Week, company leaders should make intentional, explicit, and consistent efforts to support mental health at work. Culture change starts from