Workplace Mental Health | Eden Scott

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Workplace Mental Health: Managing Employee Mental Health

Workplace mental health

Disclaimer: This blog explores the topic of workplace mental health. Eden Scott in no way professes to be a mental health expert; however, the topic of employee wellbeing is an important one to our company and many of our clients. Therefore, we believe that it’s an important subject to discuss openly.
 

You may find the following resources helpful: 
Mind 
Mental Health Foundation
SAMH (Scotland only)

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Did you know that at least one in six employees experiences a mental health problem like anxiety or depression? That means if you have a team of 60, at least 10 of them could be actively experiencing a challenging mental health condition at any given time. 
 

Experiencing a mental health problem can be really limiting for many employees. Not only do they have to contend with doing their work, but their performance can be impacted by having to spend energy battling with a mental health problem. 
 

While workplace mental health can be a complex problem, there are several things that teams can do to support mental health in the workplace. 
 

Workplace mental health: Creating an open culture 

Many people avoid addressing issues of mental health because there is a stigma associated with it. However, this shouldn’t be the case: mental health problems impact so many of us during our lifetime, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. 
 

Creating an open culture where matters of mental health are freely discussed can help employees to explore their own mental health concerns.
 

Remember: you should never force employees into direct conversations about their own mental health, but you can facilitate talks and information sessions for all employees. 
 

Workplace mental health: Providing resources 

Many companies provide their employees with resources for mental health problems. Why not create an accessible shared folder with information about workplace mental health problems and steps employees can take to address them?
 

You can provide helpful information, explaining what common mental health conditions look like including common symptoms and suggested routes to treatment. 
 

Workplace mental health: Providing complimentary counselling

Some companies provide their employees with mental health support in the form of free counselling when they need it. This is anonymised and employees do not need to declare that they are making use of this resource. 
 

Counselling and talk therapy can be transformative for employees: they receive space and time to talk through problems that have been concerning them and create their own paths to addressing these issues. 
 

Workplace mental health: Providing support

If an employee approaches you to divulge a mental health problem, the best thing you can possibly do is to be kind and supportive. 
 

Offering sympathy and kindness while working with the employee to facilitate suitable working arrangements will give them a positive space in which to recover.
 

Being in a supportive environment can take a huge weight off people’s shoulders.
 

Workplace mental health: Getting educated

There are a lot of misunderstandings about even the most common mental health conditions including who can experience them and how they impact individuals. 
 

A great way to support employees is to make sure you have a strong understanding of workplace mental health concerns.
 

While we can’t endorse any one programme, there are a number of mental health awareness programmes available - a quick Google search will reveal several in your area.
 

Workplace mental health: Appointing mental health first aiders

You’re familiar with first aiders, but are you aware that you can also appoint mental health first aiders at work? 
 

These are employees who are trained to spot the signs of a mental health crisis and support employees to seek help where required. 
 

Again, we can’t endorse individual training programmes, but many virtual and in-person courses are available.
 

Final thoughts

While mental health problems impact so many members of the workforce at different times, we are all different people, meaning we will all react to mental health conditions in different ways.
 

The important thing is to exercise compassion and kindness to support employees when they are struggling.
 

Looking for more ways to support workplace mental health? Check out our blog: The importance of kindness at work. 

 

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