A report issued today finds 300,000 people leave their job each year because of mental health (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/thriving-at-work-a-review-of-mental-health-and-employers).
The recommendations all come down to one thing: talking openly about mental health. Coming back to the office after some time out from work last year, I realise that talking openly really makes a difference. Whenever I talk about mental health and my own journey, I'm always amazed at the amount of people that say "me too", and tell me their story.
If there's just one thing you do today, this is it. Ask the people who you work with: "How are you today?".
Turn to face them, catch them in the kitchen, in the lift, pick up the phone, send a message or a quick email and ask them that simple everyday question. And then really listen to their answer. Mostly when I ask that question (or am asked), the answer is "fine thanks". But there's that one time when there's a pause; eyes flicker or well up; the reply doesn't ring true - and that is when, without a word of a lie, you can save someone's life.
If you make it a habit to ask that question of the people around you, every day, you will notice when something's up - and that's when you can make the difference.
The review says employers should: Create a mental health at work plan Build mental health awareness by making information and support accessible Encourage open conversations Provide good working conditions and ensure employees have a healthy work-life balance Promote effective people management, with line managers holding regular conversations about health and well-being with their staff Routinely monitor employee mental health