Civil Servants: Mental Health

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 4th June 2019.

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Photo of Chuka Umunna Chuka Umunna Independent, Streatham

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what support is available to civil servants who suffer from mental health problems.

Photo of Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

The Civil Service is committed to being a leading employer on mental health support and to the

positive health and wellbeing of all our staff. This includes providing specific support to those who

suffer with mental health problems. This approach enables employees experiencing mental ill

health to remain in work or return to work following a period of absence and includes

recommendations for workplace adjustments and signposting to other mental health services

The Civil Service has a network of an estimated 4,600 Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA’s) or

equivalent who are equipped with the knowledge to recognise early symptoms and provide initial

help to colleagues experiencing mental health concerns

All departments have access to Occupational Health Services, which provide support and advice to

managers and employees in respect of mental ill health. The Civil Service also provides access for

all employees to Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) or equivalent, for counselling and other

mental health support

In addition, the Civil Service has improved its use of data to monitor and respond to mental health

trends in the workplace, raised awareness and enhanced the range of workplace adjustments

available to staff with poor mental health. It has invested in training for senior leaders and line

managers to create a more supportive and preventative culture towards mental ill health in the


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