Supporting Staff Experiencing Mental Ill Health

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Managers may well be confident in supporting their staff with physical ill health but we often find they are unsure of how to best approach an employee who they believe may be experiencing some mental ill health issues.

A good starting point as a Manager is to be open, approachable and available to employees to give them the courage and confidence to speak to you about their problems. Regularly monitor workloads and look out for signs of an employee struggling to cope. Have regular one-to-one meetings and catch-ups to understand how they are getting on at work, identifying challenges both now and in the future and how you can support that employee to cope with those challenges.

Make sure that you know and understand the common signs and symptoms of mental ill health and know how to talk to the employee in the right way.

Never make any assumptions but some of the more common signs could be:
  • changes in normal behaviour
  • changes in the way the employee interacts with their colleagues
  • changes in mood
  • changes in the standard of work
  • lack of focus
  • appearing tired, anxious or withdrawn
  • reduced interest in work that they have previously enjoyed and excelled in
  • sudden increase or decrease in weight
  • increase in smoking and or drinking
  • turning up late for week
  • increase in sickness absence
Regularly ask your employees how they are doing and create a working environment where they feel confident and able to be open and honest about how they are feeling and know that they will be supported.

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