Employers

Last reviewed on 13 October 2020

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  • More than a third (39%) of employees across the UK have experienced poor mental health due to work or where work was a contributing factor [1].
  • Over two-thirds (68%) of UK workers worry that sharing concerns about their mental health at work would have a negative impact on their job [2].
  • 80% of people in the UK feel their mental health has declined as a result of working from home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic [3].

How to support your employees’ mental health

This free toolkit from Good Thinking is available to organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. As London’s digital mental wellbeing service, Good Thinking promotes self-care for the four most common mental health disorders (anxiety, sleep problems, low mood and stress) and recommends a range of NHS-approved apps, many of which are free to anyone who lives or works in London. We also provide free self-assessment tools and a range of free wellbeing content.

In this toolkit, we introduce you to the Good Thinking service and also signpost you to other useful websites. It is available to support your internal communications activity and will be updated regularly by the Good Thinking team. If your organisation has shifted to remote working in recent months, you can use it to promote online support to your employees in their new work environment.

We hope you find this toolkit useful.

As London’s digital mental wellbeing service, Good Thinking promotes self-care for the four most common mental health conditions: anxiety, sleep problems, low mood and stress.

Anonymous, free and available 24/7, Good Thinking supports individuals including those who may not wish to access traditional healthcare services, people who prefer not to be treated in a clinical setting and those who are worried about the stigma around seeking mental health support. To get a flavour of the Good Thinking service, watch the video animation on our home page .

Good Thinking was developed through a partnership of local authorities (led by Directors of Public Health), London’s NHS and Public Health England and is supported by the Mayor of London and delivered by Healthy London Partnership. We work closely with local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across London and charities, such as Partnership for Young London and Shout, and we have also teamed up with two leading social media companies, TikTok and Yubo. A number of organisations already promote the Good Thinking service to their employees, including some of the London Councils and CCGs.

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Good Thinking was built on user insights – Londoners were looking for personalised, safe, high-quality mental health support that they can access 24/7 – and is promoted on social media, search engines and other digital platforms. By curating NHS-approved mental health apps (many of which are free for Londoners) and providing clinically approved self-assessment tools, Good Thinking provides a route to early intervention for those experiencing problems with anxiety, sleep, low mood and stress.

In recent months, we have created a wide range of content related to COVID-19 and mental wellbeing. This includes workbooks, articles, podcasts and blogs that can be used to help build mental resilience and improve mental health.

Since its launch in November 2017, more than 400,000 people have used the Good Thinking service to take the first steps towards improving their mental wellbeing. As the user comments below (from an evaluation of Good Thinking conducted by King’s College London in late 2019) show, our self-help tools make a real difference.


How Good Thinking works

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Simply go to the Good Thinking home page where you can search for resources by:

  • Mental health concern (e.g. Anxiety, Sleep, Low mood, Stress)
  • Audience (e.g. Parents and carers, Children and young people, Health and care professionals, Employers)
  • Type of content (e.g. Free apps, Podcasts and blogs, How to guides, Workbooks)

Alternatively, you can take one of the Good Thinking quizzes on anxiety, sleep, low mood or stress to get recommendations for apps and other resources tailored to your needs.

If you’d like a more detailed mental health check-up, use Good Thinking’s clinically-validated self-assessment tool – you can choose to focus on a specific concern (e.g. anxiety) or do a general self-assessment.

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If you need mental health support in relation to coronavirus, please visit our COVID-19 advice hub. This includes a broad range of articles, blogs and podcasts on topics including ‘How to get back into a routine after lockdown’, ‘Advice for parents and carers’ and ‘The future of work’.

You can find further information about how to use Good Thinking and how to use the Good Thinking self-assessments on our website. Find out more about the impact of Good Thinking in the The Good Thinking journey: How the first-ever city-wide digital mental wellbeing service helped a quarter of a million Londoners and the Good Thinking COVID-19 Insights Report #1.

Boost mood

In early 2019, we began promoting Good Thinking to local authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), charities and other public sector organisations across London to support their employee wellbeing programmes. We spoke to HR and Wellbeing leads about how the Good Thinking service could help their leaders, managers and other employees to promote and support good mental health.

Good Thinking can also support private sector organisations across London that are looking for ways to promote positive mental health to their employees. By offering trusted apps and other resources that have been reviewed by Good Thinking’s Clinical Director and the NHS, you can can feel confident about recommending our innovative self-care approach to your employees.

This toolkit aims to introduce the concept of Good Thinking but if your organisation would like to adopt the Good Thinking service as part of a broader wellbeing programme, we would be happy to discuss this further. Various London Councils and CCGs are already using Good Thinking to support their employees.

We offer a range of promotional tools to help you raise awareness of mental health across your organisation – during Mental Health Awareness Week and every other week of the year. These include:

  • Posters
  • Flyers
  • Postcards
  • Pull-up banner
  • Screensavers
  • Images for your website, intranet, newsletters and social media channels
  • Template messaging for social media
  • Good Thinking logo
  • 2020/21 calendar of mental health and wellbeing awareness campaigns

You can find examples of our promotional tools in this toolkit and on the Healthy London Partnership website.

The toolkit provides information about Good Thinking in two ways:

  • Good Thinking resources by type (Apps, Self-assessments, Quizzes, Workbooks, Articles, Podcasts, Blogs)
  • Good Thinking resources by mental health condition (Anxiety, Sleep, Low mood, Stress)

It also contains links to mental health advice in relation to COVID-19.

We suggest following these steps:

1. Read through the toolkit then spend some time on the Good Thinking service, exploring our self-assessment tool, articles, podcasts and other content.

2. Download two or three of the apps that we recommend so you can see for yourself how they work.

3. Share the toolkit with anyone in your organisation who is involved in health and wellbeing (e.g. your HR team, Wellbeing leads, line managers, Mental Health First Aiders).

4. Incorporate Good Thinking into your health and wellbeing initiatives, e.g:

  • Include details of our free service in your induction packs for new starters
  • Link to Good Thinking from intranet and newsletter articles about mental health
  • Provide your Mental Health First Aiders with information about Good Thinking
  • Use our posters and other promotional tools to support mental health awareness campaigns (e.g. World Mental Health Day)
  • Reference the Good Thinking service in wellbeing-related tweets and LinkedIn posts

All our content is free for you to use and many of the apps that we recommend on Good Thinking are free to anyone who lives or works in London.

5. Sign up to Good Thinking’s newsletter.

6. Follow @GoodThinkingUK on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram and like/comment/share our posts.

7. Listen to our podcasts and leave your feedback on the app store.

8. Pass on Good Thinking’s details to other organisations that you think would benefit from our service.

9. Get in touch if you have any questions or if you would like to discuss how Good Thinking could further support your health and wellbeing strategy.

Apps

Good Thinking recommends NHS-approved apps to help reduce anxiety, get better sleep, lower stress and boost mood. Many of the apps on Good Thinking are available for free to anyone who lives or works in London. Our most popular apps include:

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Be Mindful (free)

A clinically proven online mindfulness course approved by the NHS, Be Mindful helps you to manage stress, anxiety and depression through mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT).

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Meditainment (free until December 2020)

Meditainment uses established guided meditation and visualisation techniques, leading you on imaginative journeys to dreamlike destinations to explore and reflect on a range of wellbeing topics.

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MyCognitionPRO (free)

By using this NHS-approved programme for 15 minutes a day, you can optimise your cognitive health, mental wellbeing and resilience to stress.

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My Possible Self (free)

This clinically proven app can help you to understand and identify the causes of stress, anxiety and low mood so you can learn coping mechanisms and manage future situations better.

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tomo (free)

tomo is expertly designed to support you with many of life's obstacles, including social anxiety and poor sleep. The app combines digital peer support with the best of social media and proven therapeutic techniques.


Self-assessments

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Your employees can use Good Thinking’s free clinically-validated self-assessment tool to assess their mental health anonymously. It only takes 20 minutes to complete and will provide them with a guiding diagnosis, helpful resources and, if necessary, relevant treatment options.

We offer an overall self-assessment tool or they can check their anxiety, sleep, low mood andstress.

For further information, read our article about How to use the Good Thinking self-assessments to stay on top of your mental health.


Quizzes

Your employees can take quizzes on the four most common mental health concerns – anxiety, sleep, low mood or stress – and get recommendations for wellbeing apps.

1. Choose which quiz you’d like to take

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2. Answer three simple questions

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3. Review your results and access the recommended apps and other resources

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Workbooks

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The Good Thinking team has gathered a range of evidence-based information sheets and workbooks on mental wellbeing by the renowned Centre for Clinical Interventions (CCI). Your employees can view, download and share this content and go through it in their own time.

Sleep

These four information sheets contain facts about sleep and insomnia as well as advice about sleep hygiene.

Anxiety

This workbook has 10 modules and covers everything from negative beliefs through to problem solving, helpful thinking and self-management.

Health anxiety

With nine modules, this workbook helps those who worry excessively about their health and provides advice on healthy living and self-management.

Depression

As well as an introduction to depression, this workbook features nine modules by Back from the Bluez, which include behavioural strategies and core beliefs.

Self-compassion

With seven modules, this workbook explains how to introduce self-compassionate thinking and behaviours into your life.

Mindfulness

These three information sheets cover the benefits of mindfulness and provide guidance on how to become mindful.

Panic

Featuring 12 modules, this workbook covers everything from unhelpful thinking styles through to breathing and self-management.

Find out more in the Workbooks section on the Good Thinking website.


Articles

Good Thinking has created an advice hub to help Londoners deal with anxiety, stress, sleeping problems, low mood and other mental health concerns as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The hub includes general advice about how to manage your mental health and more specific mental wellbeing advice by group. Your employees will find more than 40 articles, including:

Five ways to good mental wellbeing

How to deal with the uncertainty of lockdown and beyond

How to get enough sleep

How to deal with stress

How to cope with bereavement and grief

Advice for parents and carers

Advice for children and young people

There are lots more articles on Good Thinking’s COVID-19 advice hub.


Podcasts and blogs

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Good Thinking spoke to various Londoners about their personal experiences and got expert advice to share with our users.

Your employees might find our podcasts and blogs by healthcare professionals, students, parents, businesspeople, educators and many others useful.

Podcast: The future of work (Nicola Millard, Principal Innovation Partner, BT)

Podcast: Benefits of healthy sleep patterns (Michael Farquhar, Consultant in Paediatric Sleep Medicine, Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Trust)

Podcast: Supporting the whole family through the pandemic (Paula Ludley, co-founder of Nine Day Week)

Podcast: Dealing with stress and trauma (Professor Neil Greenberg, King’s College London)

Blog: Facing COVID-19 with Asperger’s (Chris)

Blog: GCSEs 2020 – A student’s perspective

Blog: The kindness of neighbours (Sarah)

Your employees can find other podcasts and blogs on Good Thinking’s COVID-19 advice hub.

Anxiety

The NHS describes anxiety as “a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe”[1]. It affects everyone (you might feel anxious ahead of an important meeting, for example) but some people find it difficult to control their anxiety. It is the main symptom of several mental health conditions, including claustrophobia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Research shows that feelings of anxiety increased during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic[2]. Even as lockdown measures were relaxed, almost two-thirds (65%) of employees said they were anxious about returning to work, with overcrowded workspaces, the daily commute and office hygiene cited as key concerns[3].

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[1] NHS, 2020

[2] Office for National Statistics, 2020, Coronavirus and anxiety, Great Britain

[3] Personnel Today, 2020, BUPA Health Clinics survey

Good Thinking resources (anxiety)

Anxiety quiz

Take the Good Thinking anxiety quiz to find NHS-approved apps and other resources. Recommended apps include Be Mindful, My Possible Self and tomo.

Anxiety self-assessment

Good Thinking’s clinically-validated self-assessment only takes 20 minutes to complete and provides a guiding diagnosis, useful resources and helpful next steps.

Apps for reducing anxiety

Access popular apps on Good Thinking, such as Be Mindful, My Possible Self, Pacifica and Stop, Breathe, Think, which include mindfulness and meditation elements.

General advice about anxiety

Find out about symptoms of anxiety and types of anxiety disorder on Good Thinking and access workbooks by the Centre for Clinical Interventions on Anxiety and Health Anxiety.

Advice about anxiety and COVID-19

There are lots of useful tips in Good Thinking’s articles about how to look after your mental health, five ways to good mental wellbeing and how to deal with the uncertainty of lockdown and beyond.

Podcasts about anxiety and COVID-19

Good Thinking speaks to cognitive behaviour therapist Tracey Taylor about OCD and consultant psychologist Janet Wingrove about mindfulness.


Other useful resources (anxiety)

Every Mind Matters

Mental Health Foundation

Mind

NHS

Rethink Mental Illness

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Please note that Good Thinking is not responsible for the content on these websites.

Sleep

Around a third of adults are thought to have trouble sleeping and sleep problems are one of the most common psychological reasons for GP appointments. Left untreated, insomnia increases the risk of development or worsening of anxiety, depression, hypertension and diabetes.

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, one survey[1] revealed that two-thirds (63%) of people in the UK had not been sleeping as well as they did before. Half the population (50%) said their sleep had been more disturbed than usual and two in five people (38%) reported having vivid dreams.

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[1] King’s College London/Ipsos MORI, 2020, New data reveals how UK is sleeping under coronavirus lockdown

Good Thinking resources (sleep)

Sleep quiz

By answering a few simple questions in Good Thinking’s sleep quiz, you’ll receive recommendations for NHS-approved apps, such as Be Mindful, Meditainment and tomo.

Sleep self-assessment

Use Good Thinking’s sleep self-assessment tool to get a sleep check-up and suggestions for useful resources in just 20 minutes.

Apps for getting better sleep

Good Thinking’s sleep resource collection includes Be Mindful, Calm, Headspace, Meditainment, Sleep Cycle, tomo and Twilight.

General advice about sleep

Good Thinking contains information about symptoms of sleep disorder and types of sleep disorder. You might also find the Centre for Clinical Interventions Sleep workbook useful.

Advice about sleep and COVID-19

Good Thinking’s article about how to get enough sleep includes reasons why sleep is so important and some top tips for improving your sleep.

Podcasts about sleep and COVID-19

NHS sleep expert Michael Farquhar talks to Good Thinking about how to get a good night’s sleep.


Other useful resources (sleep)

Business in the Community

Every Mind Matters

Mental Health Foundation

NHS

Royal College of Psychiatrists

The Sleep Council

Please note that Good Thinking is not responsible for the content on these websites.


Low mood

Everyone goes through ups and downs but some things that happen in life can really affect your mood. If your low mood lasts a long time and makes everything feel more difficult, you might experience depression.

One study showed that on the day the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown began in March 2020, more than two-thirds of respondents reported significant depression (38%) compared to 16% the day before[1]. If you previously experienced low mood or depression, COVID-19 might have made the situation worse.

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[1] University of Sheffield, 2020, Depression and anxiety spiked after lockdown announcement, coronavirus mental health study shows

Good Thinking resources (low mood)

Low mood quiz

Daily grind getting you down? Answer three quick questions in our low mood quiz to access NHS-approved resources, including Happify and My Possible Self.

Low mood self-assessment

Our clinically-validated low mood self-assessment will help you to understand your mood better. Once you have completed the assessment, Good Thinking will direct you to NHS-approved apps and other resources.

Apps for boosting mood

From Be Mindful to tomo, Good Thinking can recommend wellbeing apps that will help you to feel better.

General advice about low mood

Find information about the symptoms of mood disorder and types of mood disorder.

Advice about low mood and COVID-19

You might find Good Thinking’s articles about boredom, loneliness and bereavement useful.

Podcasts about low mood and COVID-19

Listen to our podcasts about retaining hope, coping with loss of work, mindfulness and getting support in a crisis.


Other useful resources

Depression UK

Every Mind Matters

Mental Health Foundation

Mind

NHS

Rethink Mental Illness

Please note that Good Thinking is not responsible for the content on these websites.

Stress

Stress is a perfectly normal reaction in the body and mind to some type of threat – it prepares you for ‘fight or flight’. Some people even find that stress motivates them. But, if you are finding it hard to cope with stress and it is having a long-term negative impact on your life, there is help available.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) resulted in many people feeling stressed – about their family’s health, their children’s education, their job, their finances and other areas of their life. As lockdown began to be eased in England in May 2020, research showed that stress levels rose further, with around one in six people worried about their finances and one in 12 people worried about their future[1].

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[1] University College London, 2020, COVID-19 Social Study – UK

Good Thinking resources (stress)

Stress quiz

Take Good Thinking’s stress quiz to get recommended NHS-approved apps, such as Calm and MyCognitionPRO.

Stress self-assessment

Feeling stressed or under pressure? In only 20 minutes, Good Thinking’s clinically-validated self-assessment can tell you how stressed you are and recommend helpful resources.

Apps for lowering stress

Apps available on Good Thinking include Be Mindful, Calm, Happify, MyCognitionPRO, My Possible Self and tomo.

General advice about stress

Get information about the symptoms of stress and types of stress.

Advice about stress and COVID-19

Find out why it’s so important to “focus on what you ‘can’ do” in our article about how to deal with stress.

Podcasts about stress and COVID-19

Our conversations with Professor Neil Greenberg on dealing with stress and trauma and with Steven Oliver on retaining hope might be of interest.


Other useful resources (stress)

Every Mind Matters

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Mental Health Foundation

Mind

NHS

Rethink Mental Illness

Please note that Good Thinking is not responsible for the content on these websites.

Numerous studies have revealed the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on our mental health. More than one in five young people and adults (22%) with no previous experience of poor mental health said that their mental health was poor or very poor during lockdown[1]. A quarter (25%) of those working from home found it hard to cope with being isolated from colleagues[2] and almost two-thirds (65%) of employees said they were anxious about returning to work[3]. On a positive note, there was a rise in optimism and confidence in workplace leaders as the easing of lockdown began[4].

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[1] Mind, 2020, The mental health emergency: How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted our mental health?

[2] Nuffield Health, 2020, Working from home taking its toll on the mental health and relationships of the nation

[3] Office for National Statistics, 2020, Coronavirus and anxiety, Great Britain

[4] Karian and Box, 2020, UK PLC and COVID-19: How the workforce is feeling

Good Thinking resources (COVID-19)

How to manage your mental health

In this section of the Good Thinking coronavirus advice hub, you can find a series of short guides about how to cope with loneliness, uncertainty, sleep problems, stress, bereavement, tension, boredom and other issues.

Mental wellbeing advice by group

Good Thinking provides mental health tips during the COVID-19 outbreak for specific audiences, including children and young people, health and care professionals, older people and parents and carers.

Personal stories (podcasts)

Good Thinking’s podcast series captures the thoughts, feelings and experiences of Londoners directly or indirectly affected by coronavirus. Get top tips on staying mentally healthy from education professionals, businesspeople, doctors, academics and many others.

Personal stories (blogs)

From a Year 11 student to an autistic entrepreneur to a young father, the Good Thinking blogs provide fascinating insights into how COVID-19 affected Londoners.


Other useful resources (COVID-19)

Acas

British Psychological Society (BPS)

BUPA

Business in the Community (BITC)

Chartered Institute for Professional Development (CIPD)

City Mental Health Alliance UK

Every Mind Matters

Institute of Leadership & Management

Mental Health Foundation

Mind

Rethink Mental Illness

Youth Employment UK

Please note that Good Thinking is not responsible for the content on these websites.

If one of your employees feels very distressed or unable to keep themselves safe, support is available.

IAPT (talking therapies)

NHS Talking Therapy services (also known as Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services) support people with mental and emotional issues like stress, trauma, anxiety and depression.

There are 32 Talking Therapy (IAPT) services in London delivering psychological treatments – one for each borough. Your employees can access the service by a referral from their GP or by self-referral from their local Talking Therapy service.

Find out more about IAPT on Good Thinking.

Local mental health services

MECC Link (Making Every Contact Count) provides information about health and wellbeing services in your local area. Simply select your region to access a range of self-care tools.

Find out more about MECC Link on Good Thinking.

Urgent support

If one of your employees is concerned about their mental health, their GP is always a good place to start. If they feel very distressed and can’t wait, or feel unable to keep themselves safe, they could text SHOUT to 85258 or call Samaritans on 116 123.

If they need help urgently but are not at risk of harm or serious illness, they should use the NHS 111 non-emergency advice online or call 111. For immediate support, they should go to their local A&E or call 999 for an ambulance.

Find out more about urgent support on Good Thinking.

We have produced a range of materials to help London-based organisations raise awareness of how Good Thinking can support employees’ mental health. You can download all these assets on the Healthy London Partnership website.


Template messaging for social media

When times are uncertain, it’s perfectly normal to feel worried. Help is available. @GoodThinkingUK offers NHS-approved apps to reduce anxiety, low mood, sleeping difficulties or stress. Visit good-thinking.uk

If you’re looking for tools to support your #mentalhealth, check out the @GoodThinkingUK service. It provides NHS-approved tools to help with anxiety, stress, low mood and other concerns. Visit good-thinking.uk

If you’re feeling anxious, worried or stressed about #COVID19, it’s important that you’re kind to yourself. A range of free #mentalwellbeing apps are available from @GoodThinkingUK. Visit good-thinking.uk


2020/2021 calendar of mental health and wellbeing awareness campaigns

Date Event/Campaign

  • 12-16 October 2020 National Work Life Week
  • 6 November 2020 National Stress Awareness Day
  • 16-20 November 2020 Anti-Bullying Week
  • 12 December 2020 International Universal Health Coverage Day
  • February 2021 Time to Talk Day
  • 20 March 2021 International Day of Happiness
  • March 2021 Sleep Awareness Week
  • 7 April 2021 World Health Day
  • 28 April 2021 World Day for Health and Safety at Work
  • April 2021 Stress Awareness Month
  • May 2021 Mental Health Awareness Week
  • May 2021 World Meditation Day
  • July 2021 Talk to Us
  • September 2021 World Suicide Prevention Day
  • October 2021 World Mental Health Day


References

[1] Business in the Community, Mental Health at Work 2019: Time to Take Ownership

[2] TalkOut, 2019, Mental Health in the Workplace

[3] Nuffield Health, 2020, Working from home taking its toll on the mental health and relationships of the nation