Mental Health at Work
Approximately one in four people experience a diagnosable mental health issue every year. The number of issues I see in work has certainly increased. Whether there are more issues or more awareness, I could not say. The fact is, we need to give more support to those that need it.
How does mental health affect work?
Some mental health conditions are like diabetes or asthma. Part of a person’s make up. That said, anyone can be affected. Worries about finances, caring for others or problems at work can all lead to stress or other conditions.
According to HSE figures, 15.4 million working days were lost to stress, anxiety or depression in 2017/18. Put another way that equals 59,231 full time workers.
It is not just those that are off. What about those that are still coming into work? They may be distracted, performing poorly and impacting on others around them. Ever wondered why someone had stopped performing but been afraid to ask?
What can employers do to help?
I felt I needed understand more about mental health at work. I have just qualified as a mental health first aider. In the same way a physical first aider learns about how to deal with cuts, burns even heart attacks, I’ve been learning how to support someone with mental health issues.
The course teaches you about different conditions. It shows you what signs to look for and how to help. I would recommend it to anyone. Even simply listening to someone’s concerns properly can make a huge difference.
There are simple steps you can take to help your workforce. For instance, caffeine has been found to be a depressant. Why not introduce decaffinated tea and coffee as an option?
Another useful resource is Mindful Employer. This is an incredibly affordable employee assistance programme. Run by an NHS trust, it provides support for both employees and their managers in supporting good mental health.
It is in everyone’s interest to support good mental health at work. Please do contact me if you would like to discuss further.Categories Health and Safety, Sickness, Staff Performance, Uncategorized