How to have Supportive Conversations at Work

In-House Training Courses > How to have supportive conversations at work

Our supportive conversations at work course is designed for anyone looking for ways to feel confident having conversations about mental health with colleagues.

Why Supportive Conversations at Work are so important

Supportive workplace conversations are vital for creating a safe environment where employees can talk openly and without judgement about their mental health. Hesitation in initiating such discussions and inappropriate questioning can lead to a decline in mental health, which could result in more severe illness and sickness absence.

This course equips participants with the skills to initiate conversations about mental health, feel comfortable approaching sensitive issues, stay in the conversation, and continue to be consistently supportive while being mindful of their own boundaries and self-care.

Key benefits of attending this course

Key benefits of attending the course on Supportive Conversations at Work:

  • Building Psychological Safety: Learn strategies to promote an environment where team members feel comfortable having difficult conversations, setting boundaries, and openly expressing their experiences and concerns.
  • Opening Conversations About Mental Health: Gain tools and techniques to initiate discussions around mental health, reducing stigma and promoting wellbeing in the workplace.
  • Establishing Trust and Confidentiality: Understand the importance of confidentiality and trust in supportive conversations, creating a safe space for individuals to share their thoughts and feelings.
  • Developing Active Listening Skills: Enhance your ability to listen attentively and empathetically, improving communication and understanding within the team.
  • Utilising Motivational Interviewing: Learn how to effectively motivate individuals to take action to help themselves, empowering them to make positive changes.
  • Enhancing Questioning Skills and Knowing What to Say: Explore effective questioning techniques and understand what responses are helpful and what may be less supportive, ensuring conversations are constructive and empowering.

Who would benefit from attending this course?

The Having Supportive Conversations at Work course is suitable for anyone who wants to support others' mental health and those who wish to refresh their skills. This course would be valuable for anyone involved in promoting wellbeing at work.

The course content and capacity can be customised for specific groups such as managers, and to ensure organisations’ specific learning criteria are met.

Course Overview

Throughout the training session, there will be an emphasis on creating a safe and supportive learning environment to enable an open, productive discussion of a sensitive topic.  This course provides training on essential skills for fostering supportive conversations at work, covering topics such as building psychological safety, initiating discussions about mental health, active listening and questioning techniques, and ensuring consistent support while maintaining boundaries.

The course content includes:

  • Reasons why supportive conversations at work are important
  • Building the psychological safety needed that encourages team members to have difficult conversations, set boundaries, be honest about their experience, raise issues/concerns
  • Opening conversations about mental health
  • Establishing trust and confidentiality
  • Active listening skills
  • Motivational interviewing to help strengthen a person’s motivation to take the actions needed to help themselves
  • Questioning skills
  • What it is less helpful to say or what not to say
  • Being consistently supportive whilst also being aware of the need to maintain boundaries
  • Self-care, boundaries and seeking support for yourself
  • Interactive exercises to apply skills
  • Practising difficult conversations
  • Feedback and reflection
  • Commitment to implementing supportive conversations
  • Resources for further learning and support

Related Training Courses

Mental Health Awareness: Training for all Employees

As basic training for all in mental health awareness is considered good practice, this course is suitable for anyone working in a team environment. Focusing on the most common mental health problems, the training includes recognising signs and symptoms and advice on practical strategies to support others.

Read more

Stress Management Training for Managers

A practical and interactive one-day course which looks at the signs of stress and its risk implications. By the end of the day, participants will be able to discuss individual team members' stress triggers with them and agree individual strategies which can then be reviewed at a later date.

Read more

Workplace MHFA 2-day course

Enlightened employers are now highlighting first aiders for both physical and mental health in the same way. This course is designed to teach participants how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill-health together with a set of skills which enables them to support someone experiencing mental health issues.

Read more

Find out more


Please get in touch with us if you have any questions. 

We are always happy to talk about our courses and help you to work out the best match for your requirements.


"The quality of the training has been fantastic and our employees are really engaging with the trainer and getting something out of it. Also In Equilibrium makes the whole process very easy to arrange."

— Employee Engagement & Wellbeing Officer, Sophie Holland

"We wanted to provide a course that taught useful and practical coping strategies that our members could put into place straight away. In Equilibrium’s experience showed us that they could provide this, and they tailored the course perfectly."

— The Association of Electoral Administrators

"In-Equilibrium recently presented Mental Health Awareness to Managers in all of our area offices. The training was really well received and all of the trainers were praised for their in-depth knowledge and understanding."


— Roger Bullivant Limited

"The training was very well received by staff who now all intend to implement the session’s practical tips and techniques into their existing roles. A large proportion of the staff rated the facilitator and their delivery as excellent and their only recommendation was for a further and longer session!"

— Leeds City College

Recent articles on our blog....

Three women sitting around a brown wooden conference table with a laptop, two looking up and across the room, one looking away.

The crucial role of active bystanders in the workplace

A look at Active Bystander training and how it can help individuals challenge unacceptable behaviour in the workplace, helping to create a healthier and more inclusive work environment free from behaviour that causes discomfort or distress.
Read More
A plate with 3 prettily decorated individual apple pies with a further one sitting on a tiny plate in the foreground.

They may not be apple or key lime, but Ted Pies can really help your communication skills

In this article, we include a visual illustrating what the acronym Ted Pies stands for and look at how it can be used to benefit workplace wellbeing.
Read More
The word newsletter printed on white paper inserted into a selection of brightly coloured envelopes

Winter newsletter has tips to boost workplace wellbeing

The latest edition of our quarterly newsletter aims to boost workplace wellbeing with tips, resources and a story to warm your heart.
Read More

Our purpose is to provide training and consultancy services to enhance resilience, health and wellbeing in the workplace.


Differentiation is one of the most strategic and tactical activities in which companies most constantly engage


It's natural to have questions about training and how it fits with your organisation. Our FAQs can help you find out more.


View case studies for some of the in-house training courses we have delivered to different types of organisations across the UK.