An evaluation of a UK education program for line managers facing employees’ mental health conditions in the workplace indicates that the program helped them provide earlier intervention and improved their awareness of best practice to better support employees. The evaluation also showed that managers felt better able to support someone experiencing a mental health condition and increased their understanding of the issues and impacts of mental health and employment.
The education program, called “Skills for Line Managers,” provides training and information on mental health conditions. The free, one-day programs are offered to front-line managers in response to growing recognition nationally and internationally of the economic, social and human cost of mental illness.
An evaluation of the education program was conducted with over 600 line managers in the UK between June 2010 and January 2011. The large majority of respondents were public sector employers; only four percent came from the private sector. The evaluation was conducted through a series of three surveys, including a follow-up survey two to three months after managers took the course.
The majority of managers indicated that following the training, their ability to understand and detect the signs and symptoms of a mental health condition allowed them to take action earlier. They also indicated that their knowledge of best practices was improved.
Seventy-seven percent (a slight reduction from pre-training responses) indicated that the course gave them confidence that they could change the way their organization supported persons with mental health conditions. Eighty-one percent indicated that this training has given them the desire to learn more about mental health and want to take further courses.
See “Mental Health in the Workplace: An Evaluation of the ‘Skills for Line Managers’ Programme,” available at www.research-toolkit.co.uk.