6 employee benefits that can help ease anxiety and support mental wellbeing

One in six UK workers is affected by mental health problems like anxiety, stress and depression. Much of our lives are spent in the workplace, so it’s only right that employers take steps to ensure staff are happy and healthy.

A healthy workplace culture consists of many factors, including good people management, recognition & rewards, and considerate workplace policies.

And one simple thing employers can do is provide employee benefits that offer practical support for mental wellbeing.

In this blog, we’ve listed six employee benefits that provide either preventative or reactive support to ensure everyone can benefit regardless of the current state of their mental wellbeing.

Need help setting up employee benefits for your staff’s health and wellbeing? Email our expert brokers at [email protected] or call 01273 974419.

6 employee benefits to help with anxiety, stress and depression

#1 Mental Health First Aid Training

A training programme to offer to employees, designed to teach staff how to understand, identify and support colleagues struggling with their mental health. The programme is a two-day course that covers a wide breadth of mental health issues, providing employees with a broad understanding of different issues and how to identify them.

Benefits of Mental Health First Aid Training:

  • Helps to reduce stigma in the workplace
  • Promotes open discussions on mental health
  • Opens channels of support and how to find help
  • Provides managers with the skills to support struggling colleagues

Remember, it doesn’t mean trained staff are qualified therapists! So make sure they aren’t taking on too much responsibility.

Your guide to Mental Health First Aid in the workplace.


#2 Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs)

EAPs offer staff a range of tools and services to better equip them to handle whatever life and work throws at them. Designed to strengthen the emotional resilience of staff, EAPs allow employees to feel they are taking control over their own mental health, whilst safeguarding anonymity.

Not every Employee Assistance Programme is the same and each provider will offer different levels of service. But you can expect to find the following services in most EAPs:

  • Professional counselling sessions
  • Managerial support
  • Financial management, advice, and debt support
  • Critical incident management
  • Self-help tools, activities, and programmes

Benefits of Employee Assistance Programmes:

  • Helps to reduce stress and anxiety – something for every team member!
  • Employers can see where support is needed through trackable usage stats
  • Alleviates managerial pressures
  • Boosts workplace productivity
  • Adaptable to teams large and small


#3 Group Health Cash Plans

A Health Cash Plan is a form of health insurance providing cover for the day-to-day health needs of staff. Typical plans will include: medical consultations, physiotherapy, dental, counselling. Business Health Cash Plans are a simpler alternative to a larger Group Health Insurance policy, keeping costs low whilst still showing staff you are prioritising their overall wellbeing.

Benefits of Group Health Cash Plans:

  • Can be easily tailored to fit with the specific needs of your business and staff
  • Helps staff with the stresses associated with routine health issues e.g., dental and eye checks
  • Easy to implement across the company
  • Allows staff autonomy over everyday health issues
  • Alleviates stress and worry for staff

Learn more about Group Health Cash Plans.


#4 Flexible working options

Allowing employees to work in a way that best suits them shows you trust them to do the work they are paid for. Flexible working can relate to working hours or the location they work from.

Benefits of flexible working options:

  • Supports employees’ work-life balance
  • Helps staff better handle childcare needs and elderly care responsibilities
  • Accommodates and recognises the different needs of each employee
  • Helps retain employees who might look elsewhere if you don’t provide some form of flexibility
  • Helps staff avoid the stress and cost of commuting to work everyday
  • Saves employees time and energy

Related reading: Remote working stats 2023: trends, impacts and demographics.


#5 Mental Health Services & Counselling

Mental health services and one-to-one counselling can be provided through a Group Health Cash Plan, Employee Assistance Programmes, or as an added value service in a Group Health Insurance scheme. Alternatively, there are many providers in the market exclusively dedicated to mental health support and counselling resources. So mental health services can be invested in as a standalone product too!

Benefits of providing mental health services:

  • Directly supports staff mental wellbeing
  • Adaptable options to fit with budget and staff needs
  • Reduces absenteeism / presenteeism
  • Boosts productivity and overall morale at work


#6 Wellness apps

A range of apps are available that provide various tools and exercises for bolstering mental wellbeing. They can consist of:

  • Meditation prompts and courses
  • CBT exercises
  • Dietary plans and prompts
  • Relaxing soundscapes
  • General healthy living guidance

Some of the market leaders include Headspace and Calm. But many insurers also offer complementary apps in their Group Health Cash Plan and Business Health Insurance plans.


The importance of protecting staff mental wellbeing

Poor mental health can be directly linked to lower job performance, reduced motivation, and, in serious cases, can affect an employee’s physical wellbeing too.

Supporting employees’ mental wellbeing is both the right thing and logical thing to do.

At Engage Health Group, we work across the health and wellbeing marketplace to ensure you find the right policies at the right price, and ensure your whole benefits package provides prices from across the market.

Contact our expert team at [email protected] or call 01273 974419 for FREE no-obligation advice and support.

Picture of Eleanor Chilvers

Eleanor Chilvers

Eleanor started at Engage in 2021, and is now a Digital Content Writer after studying BA English Literature at University of Sussex for the last 3 years.

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