Mental Health

Here at Pro Active we just wanted remind everyone to spare a moment and consider if you are looking after your mental health. From a business perspective we understand that we are all valuable business assets. That’s why you need to take care of yourselves and your staffs wellbeing.

Talk about it

It’s important to talk about mental health and how we feel. It can be a positive thing to acknowledge any difficulties we may be experiencing. This should not only apply to everyday lives but to our working life too. However this can be easier said than done…
We all perform better when we are mentally well. So this blog will focus on how employers can support their staff if they are experiencing mental health issues.

Employers roles and responsibilities

  • Build trusting relationships with your staff by creating a positive culture towards mental health in general
  • Ensure that your management team are approachable so staff feel able to come and talk with you if they are having any mental health issues
  • Encourage staff to talk to you/your management team about any mental health issues that maybe affecting their performance such as stress or anxiety
  • Treat mental health issues the same as physical health issues
  • Ask staff how they are feeling by having regular catch up meetings with them

When should you intervene?

  • Look out for changes in staff’s behaviour- are they unusually quiet or vocal?
  • Has their performance/ standard of work deteriorated?
  • Has their physical appearance changed- e.g. do they appear unusually unkempt?
  • Do they appear unusually anxious or stressed?

How you can help?

  • Offer flexible work hours if possible/applicable
  • Encourage staff to take “time out”. If they are feeling particularly stressed to take a break from their immediate work environment
  • Allow staff time off for GP appointments etc when their mental health is involved
  • Offer help and advice as to how to alleviate workloads

If you notice any changes such as the ones above it may be time to gently ask them if all is well.
In the main if you approach these situations in a sensitive and empathetic way staff may feel able to disclose to you if they’re experiencing any mental health problems. If another member of your management team has a more positive relationship with them ask them to gently ask if they are okay.

You will find that if managers have a general positive attitude to mental health staff will engage with you hence you can help them through a difficult time.
However as mental health problems can range from mild to severe please be aware that you will not be able to solve everything. In other words the more complex issues may require professional input.
If you are unsure of how to deal with a particular issue around mental ill health within the work place encourage staff to seek advice from their GP.

Finally don’t forget that as mental health problems can affect any of us at any time. Managers may also need to seek advice/support so if possible talk to your peers if you feel your mental health is an issue.

Legal duties for employers:

Once you are aware of any health issues you have a responsibility to make reasonable adjustments.
Small businesses advice
ACAS has lots of useful information on this subject

Here’s to a healthier happy workplace for us all

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