Millions of us are affected by mental illness each year, with new official data revealing that one in three work sickness notes handed out by GPs are now for mental health issues.

Whilst most managers understand how to deal with individuals phoning in sick with physical symptoms, many are less comfortable talking about mental health issues or know how to support staff to return to work.

ACAS has recently published a very helpful guide "Promoting positive mental health in the workplace" which provides guidance to employers and managers to help them spot individuals within their organisation that may be suffering from mental health issues and to understand how to properly support them.

It also explains how businesses can start to create a workplace culture where staff feel able to talk about their mental health and to identify workplace practices that may have an impact on employee wellbeing.

Managers should be trained about mental health and act as role models to encourage healthy behaviours. 

The guide provides lots of practical tips and to help businesses improve the mental health of their workforce and is well worth a read.