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CLient news & Insights

27/03/2022

One out of every six professionals experiences anxiety, depression, or other mental health challenges. While managers and business owners aim for a thriving, healthy, dedicated, and motivated workforce, supporting employees with mental health issues can be challenging. Many individuals may avoid discussing their mental health concerns at work due to the fear of being rejected or judged. 

Demonstrating strong leadership skills by supporting individuals during difficult times aligns with your company’s values. To help you navigate this issue, here are a few steps that can provide clarity and solutions.

Can your employees open up to you about their problems?

To enhance employees’ comfort level, it is essential to foster trust and establish a culture of support. Cultivating such a culture begins with cultivating healthy relationships among managers and other team members. Additionally, implementing appropriate policies is a critical step towards achieving this objective.

How can I tell when someone has mental health struggles?

It is crucial to keep in mind that individuals who have been dealing with enduring mental health problems or neurodiversity may resort to “masking” as a coping mechanism. Masking refers to concealing their symptoms and true selves to conform to societal norms and expectations.

A few signs someone in your work might be dealing with mental health:

  • Changes in people’s behaviours and reactions or interactions with colleagues
  • Changes in eating habits, skipping lunch or not eating at all / binge eating
  • Always tired, withdrawn, looking exhausted 
  • Changes in their performances and motivation
  • Struggling to get organised or follow a schedule

How do I have a conversation with an employee in crisis?

  • Find a quiet place or take them for a coffee, and avoid talking in the office
  • Ask simple, open, and non-judgmental questions
  • Do not make assumptions
  • Ensure confidentiality 
  • Encourage people to seek help such as therapy, Employee Assistance Programme to arrange counseling 
  • Create an action plan with them and make sure they are 100% comfortable with each step
  • Give them time and check in after a few weeks

What workplace adjustments can you make?

  • Extra training, coaching or mentoring 
  • Extra help with managing and negotiating workload
  • Change of workspace – e.g. quieter, more/ less busy, dividing screens 
  • Working from home (although it’s important to have regular phone catch-ups so people remain connected and don’t feel isolated)
  • Provision of self-help information and sharing approaches and adjustments that have proven effective at supporting others 
  • Encourage people to work on building up their resilience and doing things that support good mental health such as exercise, meditation, or eating healthily 
  • Changes to break times 
  • Provision of quiet rooms
  • More positive and constructive feedback