HSE launches workplace stress campaign

The Health and Safety Executive has kicked off a campaign to help prevent work-related stress and promote good mental health in the workplace.

One of the images being used in HSE's Working Minds campaign
One of the images being used in HSE's Working Minds campaign

Concern about the levels of mental health problems suffered by workers has prompted the 'Working minds' campaign, which was announced during the HSE’s first health and work conference, an online event.

Mental health issues are the top reason given for sick days in the UK. Last year more than 17 million working days were lost as a result of stress, anxiety, or depression, according to the HSE.

The campaign targets 1.1m small and medium-sized businesses, which account for approximately six million workers, with a focus on companies in the agriculture, construction, health, manufacturing and motor trade sectors. It aims to help employers recognise signs of work-related stress and act accordingly.

Organisations ranging from Mind and the NHS to the Department for Work and Pensions and Federation of Small Businesses are supporting the campaign.


The 'Working minds' campaign is promoting simple messaging, such as calling on firms to reach out to staff, recognise signs of stress, respond to issues raised, reflect on how things have been dealt with, and make it routine to ask how people are.

A website has been created to provide a source of information about the legal obligations for companies, as well as advice and tools for tackling mental health issues.

The campaign, which will run until January 2023, is focusing on media engagement and using the HSE's social media channels. It is also amplified by the social media channels of campaign partners.

Lester Posner, head of corporate comms at HSE, told PRWeek: "The campaign aims to effect a culture change across Britain’s workplaces to make recognising and responding to the risks of stress as routine as managing safety. Our joint insight revealed there was uncertainty within the business community about roles and responsibilities regarding work-related stress and its impact on mental health, particularly within smaller companies."

He added: "Key to our strategy is working in collaboration with organisations across the mental health sector and industry to help extend the reach of important messages about stress management to our target audiences.

“By raising awareness of the impact of workplace stress and providing practical steps and tools, together we can help to sustain and improve mental health at work.”


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