Following a recent investigation ran by the NHS it has shown that one in every three sick notes handed out by Doctors are for mental health related issues, with anxiety and stress becoming an ever-growing problem in the UK.
Each year, of the 5 million people being signed off from work, around 1.5 million come as a result of some form of mental health issue. This alarming statistic begs the questions – are employers doing enough to help support employees struggling with a mental health condition in the workplace? Plus, what can they do to better facilitate and support those suffering with these issues effectively?
Remove the stigma – Creating a culture that supports staff to be open and honest about their mental wellbeing is a huge step in supporting these issues. Employees may be scared or shy away from discussing this issues in a fear of being judged. Having managers trained to be open to discussion and to encourage discussion with your staff is key in changing the culture within your organisation.
Be flexible – As with any other sickness or illness, flexibility is very important. Offering an employee, the ability to work flexibly or making adjustments to their workload/schedule can be a great way to alleviate work related stress or pressures. Encouraging staff to be open about their mental health and working together with them to create a more suitable working environment/schedule can be a huge stride towards better supporting these issues. Identifying triggers for stress will help you quash these factors and create a more calming work environment.
Encourage employees to seek help – Encourage your employees to speak to their doctor or GP to find out what kind of support is available to them to help them with any mental health concerns or issues. Taking a pro-active approach to these issues is an important first step in effectively managing them in the workplace.
If you would like further guidance on supporting your employees with mental health issues or would like to put an action plan in place to manage any future issues, get in touch with the HPC team today:
T: 0844 800 5932
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