Mental Health at Work: Improving well-being in the workplace

This workshop is aimed at all those who work! Whether dealing with individual or organisational clients who require interventions to improve psychological well-being, or developing your own strategies for surviving the challenges of the modern workplace, this provides an interactive opportunity to explore an important knowledge base underpinned by relevant theory and applied findings.

09:00 Registration
Workshop starts
16:45 - 17:00
Workshop ends


The range of positive and negative experiences of mental health at work is considered alongside its role in the functioning of employees and organisations. Potential sources of strain are identified together with key challenges to psychological well-being, leading to an examination of the positive options for improving the workplace, as well as expanding individual’s strategies for survival.

Through a balance of facilitator-led and group-work sessions, participants will be engaged in a variety of activities and discussions permitting individual, as well as group learning. The early part of the day will introduce the key concepts and themes relating to mental health, features of the workplace and policy developments. The late morning will involve small groups working on relevant case studies. After lunch, facilitator input on interventions will be followed by opportunities for discussion and self-assessment and more detailed case study work shared with the main group, leading to action planning.

Psychological theory underpinning the workshop

Mental health and well-being are hard to define satisfactorily, but the key elements have been identified (e.g. Selye (1956), Maslach (1982) and Warr (1987)). Occupational psychologists have proposed salient aspects of the workplace which influence psychological well-being at work, resulting in models such as Karasek’s Job Strain approach (1990) and Warr’s ‘Vitamin’ Model (1999, 2007), a twelve-feature curvilinear model which parallels aspects of the workplace with sources of nutrition. Such a metaphor is readily understandable and has gathered pace in the amount of research being carried out to evaluate it. Affective Events Theory (Weiss and Cropanzano, 1996), goes on to suggest that our emotions act as mediators through which our thoughts about work can be determined, resulting in both positive and negative effects on well-being.

Approaches to improving well-being within organisations have received renewed impetus as a result of HSE standards and most recently NICE guidance. Three broad intervention categories, although not mutually exclusive, are considered at the individual and/or organisational level (Giga, Cooper and Faragher, 2003): primary or preventative interventions (e.g. job redesign, organisational change), secondary or stress management programmes (e.g. relaxation techniques, time management), and tertiary or treatment interventions often packaged as employee assistance programmes offering counselling.

Learning outcomes and objectives

  • Recognise the main symptoms of psychological disorders commonly reported in the workplace.
  • Appraise the likely causes of strain for employees, as well as those of stress in organisations.
  • Review evidence-based interventions suitable for use in organisations.
  • Draw on relevant legal rulings in cases where employees have experienced mental health problems at work.
  • Recommend appropriate strategies for improving psychological well-being at work


Dr Ashley Weinberg is a Chartered Psychologist with 20 years experience in lecturing and consultancy, specialising in interactive DOP workshops enthusing others to apply psychological theory to real-world situations. Having carried out the first study of psychological health among MPs, Ashley has conducted and published research into stress among public sector occupations and has written two books with Cary Cooper: ‘Surviving the Workplace’ and ‘Strategic Stress Management; 2nd edition’. Having worked in a variety of roles in radio journalism, sales and the NHS, Ashley draws on a wealth of experience likely to appeal to all who recognise the importance of psychological well-being. A media contact for the BPS, he has been involved in numerous interviews, chat shows and live news broadcasts. Since the Millennium, Ashley has led the establishment of one of the UK’s newest University Psychology departments.

Booking Information

Target audience

There are no prerequisite qualifications but knowledge, interest or experience in working with clients/organisations to improve employee well-being would be an advantage.

Workshop fees

  • DOP Members: £220 (+VAT)
  • BPS Members: £260 (+VAT) 
  • Concessions: £100 (+VAT)
  • Others: £345 (+VAT)

Persons eligible for concessionary rate are student members of the Society, graduate members registered under Rule 15.ii, Rule 21 members, and members who are unemployed. For evidence of unemployment, we will require a copy of your job seekers allowance book.

How to book


Society's London Office

30 Tabernacle Street



Thu, 10/11/2011 -
09:00 to 17:00
BPS Learning Centre