Our article at the start of 2018 about Mental Health was one born out of surprise in the drastic increase in clients requesting mental health absence management support. So 18 months later, in respect of mental health awareness week, we find ourselves writing more about practical management.
The telegraph reported earlier in the year that for the first time, work-related stress anxiety or depression accounts for over half of all working days lost due to ill health in Great Britain. In total, 15.4 million working days were lost in 2017/18 as a result of the condition, up from 12.5 million last year. This equates to 57.3 per cent of the 26.8 million work days lost to ill health according to figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Mental health conditions are commonplace, and we are starting to get to the position where people feel more comfortable to inform their employers and are being met with more acceptance, which is a fantastic place to get to. Our focus now is to ensure that Employers are ready to handle these situations and have the infrastructure in place to support their employees on their journey to wellbeing. Therefore, we suggest that employers consider whether:
- Managers are able to spot the signs of a potential issue
- Their business is a good place to work
- They truly support employees with mental health and stress concerns
- Colleagues of employees with mental health or stress concerns are supported
- The company culture is inclusive and accepting.
Some key actions employers can take:
- Talk – meet with the employees and ask how they are
- Review employee’s workloads/environments
- Provide training to managers on identifying mental health concerns and supporting employees (they are not trained professionals!)
- Ensure processes support employees with mental health conditions
- Review your sickness absence and capability processes
- Understand and get feedback on whether your culture is right
- Seek guidance when problems persist!
At ViewHR, we are experienced in dealing with and supporting businesses with varied mental health and stress concerns and situations. If you need support or are interested in running our mental health workshop in your business, then please contact us on 01425 205391 or at email@example.com.
Article written by Heidi Roper, Senior HR Consultant