The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has announced that it is committing to a series of initiatives to increase its employees’ mental health support, including Mental Health First Aid, access to therapies, advice and emotional support and providing intranet-based resources.

FSB, which is the campaigning membership organisation for the UK’s small businesses, employs 209 full time and part time staff. Statistics from FSB’s health and medical helpline which it offers its members show that more than 20 per cent of primary health concerns presented by small businesses are mental health conditions (over the last two years).

Julie Lilley, Chief Executive of FSB said:

“As we continue to work to help our members promote positive mental wellbeing for themselves, as a small business ourselves, we’re now focusing on a range of initiatives that will have a positive impact on our employees.”

“Just like all smaller business, we want to be a responsible employer and attract and retain the best people we can. We want to put strategies in place to bring the best out of every individual in our talented team. This will also improve productivity meaning that we can better continue to offer our members the best and ensure that the voice of small business continues to be heard by governments at all levels.”

“Better mental health support could save UK businesses up to £8 billion a year, as it is estimated that one in four people experience mental health problems in any year.”

FSB’s employee mental health initiatives include:

  • Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training of employees from across the organisation to be mental health first aiders
  • Ensuring employees have access to FSB Care – a service ran by nurse advisors who provide advice and emotional support and who can arrange appropriate therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Launching a mental health wellbeing hub on the intranet with resources and information

Since 2017, FSB has run a series of campaigns and resources to help the UK’s 5.6 million small businesses and self-employed improve their own mental wellbeing and that of their employees. This has included partnerships with Mind and the Royal Foundation to develop a small business mental health toolkit. A new wellbeing in small business award is open for entries as part of the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards 2020.