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The Most Noticeable Signs of Poor Mental Health at Work

The most noticeable signs of poor mental health at work are covered in workplace mental health first aid training. Being able to identify the common signs of ill mental health at work is super important, as this can help you step in where appropriate and offer guidance.

What are the most noticeable signs of poor mental health at work?

Recurring sadness, irritability or extreme high or low mood

Do you have an employee who seems particularly susceptible to angry outbursts or teary eyes in the office? Recurring sadness or irritability can be a sign of emotional instability which could lead to (or be an indicator of) mental health issues such as acute stress, anxiety, or depression. It’s a good idea to check in with anyone showing these signs.

Behavioural changes

Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits are key behavioural changes to look out for.

Excessive fear, worry, or anxiety

Does someone at work seem to be fixated with worry, fear, or anxiety? It could be a sign they’re suffering from an anxiety-based issue and may need professional support to prevent their worry spiralling out of control.

Social withdrawal

If someone seems quiet and socially withdrawn when they’d normally be fairly talkative and jovial in the workplace, this can be a key sign that something isn’t quite right. Everyone can have a bad day, but if this behaviour persists for a long period, it’s worth checking in.

A decline in work performance

If there is an uncharacteristic deterioration of work performance, this could be a sign that someone is not feeling themselves. It’s important to note that this could also be an indication of poor or inconsistent management, but either way it’s a good idea to get to the bottom of what’s caused a decline in work performance – it will benefit both the employee and your business.

Listen out for what employees say, but also what they don’t say

Many workplaces operate with an open-plan office, giving plenty of scope for issues to be detected based on what employees say out loud. If someone mentions in passing that they’re not feeling themselves lately or that issues at home are making them stressed, this could be your queue to step in as a mental health first aider and see if they need any support.

Being able to detect unspoken issues is an art and requires a great deal of emotional intelligence, but if your intuition suggests that someone isn’t quite themselves or that they are struggling, it doesn’t hurt to ask how they are feeling or whether they are experiencing any issues that they would like to discuss. This approach won’t work with everyone – some people value their privacy more than others, but for many they’ll be glad you reached out.

Final note

These signs of poor mental health at work can be more tricky to detect in new employees, or those who are working remotely. That’s why it’s important to reach out and adopt an open-door policy. Making sure your employees know that they can discuss health concerns openly, whether that’s physical or mental is important.

Become a mental health first aider

If you’re interested in receiving mental health first aid training for your workplace, you can book onto a course with ABC Life Support today. We offer on-site training that can be tailored to your requirements.

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