Encouraging and creating an open culture around mental wellbeing for staff.

The University of Sheffield have created a model that helps staff to initiate and navigate conversations about mental health.

Use of this model may help staff to remember some key support mechanisms available to them and to others to protect health and wellbeing. Good practice behaviours to facilitate early identification of potential issues, as well as the prevention of issues arising, are also outlined within the model.

TALK: Tell; Awareness; Listen; Kindness



If you have urgent concerns about a member of staff, seek HR advice immediately. You do not need to deal with concerns around mental health and wellbeing alone – you will need support and someone to run ideas past as much as the individual concerned.



Raise the individual’s awareness of support available for them. This includes Juice activities, occupational health support, staff helpline and counselling service plus numerous external support agencies.

Make it clear that you are there to support them – they are not alone (and, as above, ensure you get the support too!).



Don’t always assume that stress is caused by the current working environment. There could be other factors the individual is dealing with (either in work or in their personal lives) that are affecting their health and wellbeing.

Have a conversation with the individual (or group). Ask questions to really understand how they are feeling and what the causes are.

Listen to concerns and consider ways, together, concerning how this may be resolved.



To promote good mental health and wellbeing at all times (don’t just wait for a problem to emerge!), role model self-care and care for others. For example:

  • ask people how they are
  • celebrate successes
  • say thank you
  • encourage colleagues to take a break
  • encourage others to participate in Staff Wellbeing activities