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Managing and Supporting Mental Health at Work

Despite plenty of awareness being raised about supporting mental health at work, many workplaces still get things wrong. In this guide, we’re detailing the top 7 ways to manage and support mental health at work.

Top 7 ways to manage and support mental health at work:

Treat mental health issues on a par with physical health issues

This is something that should be a given. Of course, anxiety and flu are two very different problems, but they should both be treated as illnesses. This is even enshrined in employment law in the UK, with no legal difference established between taking a day off for a mental illness and a physical problem.

Take a proactive approach

Whilst mental health issues don’t necessarily have to be a result of work-related stress, it’s important to take a proactive approach.

Raising awareness within your team and making sure that employees feel that they can safely open-up about the issues they are facing is important.

Also, identifying common factors that increase stress levels or anything that could trigger anxiety is important. A happy, healthy workforce is a productive one after all.

Remove the stigmas

A study from Slater and Gordon found that over half of employees who took mental health days cited a physical problem to explain their absence out of fear they’d be judged or treated poorly if they told the truth. Unfair judgements or treating those with mental health issues differently creates barriers to recovery. Creating a safe environment where someone suffering with mental health issues feels supported is paramount.

Make time for communication and take action

Communication is key. You don’t need to be a trained therapist to support someone going through a mental health struggle – you just need to have an open line of communication and know the appropriate advice to give. Whether that’s advising someone to speak to their GP or arranging more flexible work options.

Make space for privacy

With the rise of the open-plan work environment, it’s becoming more and more difficult to have private conversations. On top of that, with more and more GP appointments now happening over the phone, it’s never been more important to take employee privacy seriously. Everyone has the right to access medical advice when they need it and to not be overheard when discussing their health concerns. Therefore, making sure employees can make these phone calls when they need to and without being overheard is important.

Be supportive

If an employee is not feeling themselves, it’s important to be as supportive as possible. This doesn’t mean giving preferential treatment, it just means that they need to feel like you care about their recovery as much as they do.

Consider investing in a workplace wellbeing consultant

A workplace wellbeing consultant can help you identify issues and give you the essential training you need to truly be a supportive work environment.

We hope these pointers will help you better manage and support mental health at work.

At ABC Life Support, we deliver workplace wellbeing consultancy service to help you implement all the above pointers for a happier and healthier workforce. Contact us today to find out more.

Next The Most Noticeable Signs of Poor Mental Health at Work
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