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Recognising Mental Health Issues in the Workplace

Good mental health is essential to an employee’s performance and sense of wellbeing in the workplace, as this can have an impact on their productivity and creativity. Recognising the signs and helping a colleague through a mental health issue are vital tools for every organisation to have.   by Clare Deane | Monday 27th January 2020

For some people a mental health issue could be a one-off event, triggered by stress or a traumatic event or it could be a recurring factor that has no cause at all – everyone’s mental health is different, much like physical health.

The most important thing to do is to look for symptoms of mental ill-health which can include:
• Increased fatigue
• Angry outbursts
• Irritable, impatient behaviours
• Inability to concentrate
• Low energy

We can probably all recognise days when we feel one or more of the symptoms above and understanding these feelings within ourselves can then help us to recognise them in others. Every organisation should look to create a workplace culture where people feel comfortable talking about their mental health and this can be done by taking small steps such as:

• Creating a space somewhere in your workplace for colleagues to speak openly about their feelings. The area could have support material available such as mental health helplines, Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) posters and leaflets.
• Provide an easy process for employees to speak to colleagues or line managers. An open door policy, drop in sessions or regular one-to-one meetings can help make it easier for people to start talking.
• Appointing mental health wellbeing champions in your organisation, who are open with their feelings, can also encourage others to open up.

Encouraging conversations around mental health can only help to break down the barriers and perceived stigma around the topic, turning it into an everyday conversation.

Creating a wellness programme is a great way to support your staff’s wellbeing and mental health. There are many resources online that you can use, such as our Mental Health Support Pack, or Health@Work’s 7C s of Wellbeing Design.

Recognising mental health issues in the workplace is very important for employee wellness. Medicash’s corporate cash plans can include access to a 24/7 stress helpline or full Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). Talk to us and find out more about our plans and how your staff can benefit.

Sources and useful links:
https://corporate.medicash.org/mental-health-support-pack/
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-support-mental-health-work
https://www.mind.org.uk/

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