Spotting Workplace Mental Health Concerns In Your Staff

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week (12th – 19th May), and Ajuda are passionate about promoting open conversation about mental health, and ensuring everyone has the access to the support and help they require in a time of need.

Facts:

  • In 2017/18 57% of working days lost were as a result of stress, anxiety or depression. (HSE 2018)
  • One in four adults in Wales will experience some form of mental health problem in a year (Mind)
  • Mental health problems are a major cause of disability for some people.

For this week’s blog, we’ll take a look at five signs that your staff may be struggling mentally or emotionally. These can be difficult to approach at times, but address feelings of stress and anxiety at the early stages is crucial to ensure your staff do not suffer more than they already are, and can have the best chance of a speedy recovery and return to the workforce when ready.

 

Absenteeism

When suffering with mental health issues, it can be hard for your employees to open up. If one of your staff members has suddenly begun to take extra sickness days, without a doctor’s note – this could be a signal they need time away from work to deal with some problems.

Decreased productivity/Lack of Cooperation

If you’ve noticed your staff member is more quiet than usual, and struggling to remain motivated at work when they are usually engaged, this suggests either something at home or work is causing them some worry.

Safety Problems   

If you’re in a workplace with some health and safety risks, and you notice a staff member acting recklessly around equipment, this shows signs of not caring about their health and future consequences. This can be considered a sign of depression – and should be addressed as soon as possible to ensure the safety of your workforce.

Alcohol and/or drug misuse

The increased use of drugs and alcohol is often a signal that an individual is trying to block out some feelings of anxiety and stress. If you have a feeling one of your staff are becoming reliant on drugs or alcohol, this could be the cause.

Frequent Complaints of tiredness

Depressions, stress and anxiety can not only cause a lack of sleep in some people, but also are a case of tiredness in general and low feelings of energy.

 

If you have noticed any of the above points within your staff members recently, it may be a sign that they are struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, or another mental health issue that needs to be addressed.

One of the easiest ways to begin tackling these issues – it’s best to talk! Having an open conversation with your staff about their mental wellbeing, and making it clear that your workplace is a zone where these things can be discussed, is a fantastic first step in the right direction.

Other ideas to make the member of staff feel supported are to keep up to date with the member of staff with regular relaxed meetings, planning some social occasions such as a team-building nights and inviting the member of staff. You can also look at ways of relieving their workload for the time being to allow them some space to recover, or look into potential counselling if you feel this the appropriate action.

If you are unsure of how to approach the initial conversation, please take time to read some of our links below which provide advice on approaching the topic with your staff member. You wouldn’t tug on a broken arm, so the same caution should be applied when dealing with a mental health worry.

Ajuda offer our own Mental Health First Aid (Wales) training course, which provides attendees with the knowledge to spot the early sign of a mental health problem, along with the confidence and skills to support individuals who are suffering on a “First Aid” basis.

We offer this course on a monthly basis at the Cardiff Bay training centre, but we can we can bring the training to your workplace if the dates suitable for you at our training centre (for groups of 12 people).

Our next upcoming Mental Health First Aid (Wales) training courses in Cardiff Bay are…

23 & 24 May

27 & 28 June

25 & 26 July

22 & 23 August

Please follow this link to book yourself in to our training course. To enquire about our Mental Health First Aid (Wales) corse, or any other courses we offer, contact us on 02920 576883 or email admin@ajuda.org.uk

 

Mental Health Support Links

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/talk

https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/category/blog/talking-about-mental-health

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/police/supporting-a-colleague-with-a-mental-health-problem-police/talking-about-mental-health/#.XNiV0vZFyhc

https://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/workplace-mental-health/supporting-employees-mental-health/talking-about-mental-health-problems

https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/news-and-blogs/our-blog/talking-change-childrens-mental-health-week

 

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