Mental health is concerned with the way we think and feel, and how resilient we are to the stresses that life can bring. For many of us, coming out of lockdown has been a relief – we are able to see friends, play sports and return to work. But for some of us, these changes can be difficult for our mental health. Good mental health gives us an identify, a sense of purpose and the energy to live our lives in the way we want. It is estimated that over 6,000 people a year commit suicide; often no-one sees it coming.
What does this mean for employers?
According to ACAS; “a new poll reveals nearly 2 out of 5 employees say they feel stressed working from home.” Further, their research indicates that mental illness is the largest single cause of disability in the UK. Taking a sensible but supportive approach is key as often an issue can build up over time, or it can be sudden one-off event. Having managers that are able to spot changes – whether this be subtle or blatant is important in seeking the right advice at the right time. Employers have a legal “duty of care” which means they must all they reasonably can to support their employee’s health, safety and wellbeing.
How can employers support their employees?
Taking a proactive approach such as regular risk assessments, encouraging people to speak up if they need help (even if you can’t provide that help – you can signpost them somewhere that can) and to take responsibility for their own wellbeing can really help to reduce absence and improve the overall health of your employees. Teach your managers how to have conversations with employees through mental health training and awareness workshops.