Following on from a previous blog on ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’ posted on our website in October 2019, we continue to see a significant amount of work related to this subject a year on – particularly given the impact of coronavirus on people’s lives.
With regard to the global and media drive to remove the stigma attached to mental health, we are seeing that more and more business owners are understanding they have both a moral and legal responsibility to support their employees when a mental health condition is identified. Additionally, we are seeing that more business owners and line manager’s are getting to know the importance of spotting recognised early signs that a member of their team is potentially experiencing a problem and to encourage disclosure in a sensitive way.
Being able to signpost an employee to other help either via the Company’s ‘Employee Assistance Programme’, their GP, the NHS 111 service or a recognised mental health organisation such as ‘Mind’ when the employee doesn’t know where to get help are all examples of how you can offer support. Training up some of your employees to be ‘Mental Health First Aiders’ is also another way a business can show their commitment to tackling the stigma of mental health.
It is also extremely important in these extra-ordinary times that employer’s put in place a supportive working environment where staff feel able to raise any concerns and feel they are being listened to, without fear of reprisal.
An employer’s framework for managing mental health in the workplace should link into the Company’s policies and procedures e.g. Stress Management, Recruitment, Absence Management and Flexible working policies.
Maintaining regular contact with those that go off sick with a mental health condition, particularly those on long term sick, is usually key to stopping the employee feeling isolated. There may be some instances where regular contact is more difficult depending on the nature of the condition but medical advice can help to establish and maintain an acceptable level of contact. It is also key to the development of any action plan to enable the employee to return to work.
If you need any help on this subject please do not hesitate to get in contact.