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Mental Health in the Workplace

April is Stress Awareness Month – 30 days dedicated to raising awareness of the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic.

It’s predicted 10 million people in England will need mental health support in 2022 alone. To put that in perspective, that’s 20% of the population. Combine that with insight showing over 90% of employees expect employers to provide support, it’s clear Mental Health must be a business priority.

For some employees, mental health issues can become too much, and the stress of the situation causes meetings and plans to be cancelled, the person affected to become more socially reclusive, or suffer a decrease in performance and productivity.

How can HR promote mental health in the workplace in order to better support employee mental health?

Here hr inspire’s resident mental health expert Peter Campbell provides top tips:

Be Fair and Consistent

If an employee is suffering from mental illness, managers and co-workers should not treat them differently. Doing so may make them feel worse or as though they are a burden. Instead, positive changes may be required to help an employee and managers must take action without making them feel as if they are a burden.

Remain Aware

Picking up on signals that allow you to indicate how an employee is feeling is important. For example, if an employee ceases to reply to your work emails or calls, they may become irritated, tense or lack the stamina to complete ordinary everyday duties.

This type of behaviour can indicate that an employee is in a difficult situation, and you should offer assistance if necessary. If you observe that they are having difficulties at work, it is critical that you urge them to get assistance.

Listen and Educate

It can be difficult for someone to speak openly about their true feelings. Don’t pass judgement if an employee decides to share their thoughts and feelings with you; instead, provide an ear. Listen carefully, be patient and learn as much as you can about what they’re going through.

Psychoeducation plays an important role in that person’s recovery, and it can only help you grasp their problems as well. Explain the various options for seeking professional treatment and encourage them to do so as soon as possible.

Do people managers need mental health training?

Everyone from employers to corporate executives can benefit from training in order to provide a mentally fit workplace that is beneficial for business. Training will educate workers on how to spot early signs and how to appropriately support the employee. This will assist in breaking down stigmas that are attached to mental health, which is critical for early identification and future-proofing employee mental health.

hr inspire’s Mental Health Training Courses:

Become Mental Health Aware

A half day course delivered either face-to-face or via online video conferencing:

  • What mental health is and how to challenge stigma
  • A basic knowledge of some common mental health issues
  • An introduction to looking after your own mental health and maintaining wellbeing
  • Confidence to support someone in distress or who may be experiencing a mental health issue

Become a Mental Health First Aider

This online course trains you as a Mental Health First Aider, giving you:

  • An in-depth understanding of mental health and factors that affect wellbeing
  • Practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues
  • Confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress
  • Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening
  • Knowledge to help someone recover by guiding them to further support

If you would like more in-depth information contact our expert team.

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