Debbie Lovewell-Tuck: How is the Covid-19 pandemic changing mental health strategies?

As our Mental Health Week, in association with Benenden Health, draws to a close, it is time to reflect on some of the trends and issues currently shaping employers’ strategies in this area.

Supporting employees’ mental health and wellbeing has been a priority for many employers throughout the unprecedented events of 2020. As the initial restrictions and national lockdown placed on the UK has eased, it may be easy for some individuals to overlook the impact that the ongoing Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic is continuing to have on others.

For some, the very easing of restrictions may, in itself, be a source of anxiety and concern due to ongoing fears around Covid-19. For others, the onset of a second wave of the virus and implementation of localised restrictions may lead to heightened concerns again about isolation, job, security, financial wellbeing worries about loved ones, and separation from friends and family members, for example. Of course, as the virus has not left us at any point, some will also be dealing with family illness and bereavements (not necessarily always linked to Covid-19).

The pressure currently placed on public health services may mean more employees are looking to their employer to support their mental health and wellbeing. With many employees still working remotely, either full or part time, however, how to identify and reach these individuals if they do not willingly ask for support is a challenge for employers.

With many mental health support services ceasing to operate or doing so at reduced capacity as a result of the pandemic, employers may well have had to review their offering and adapt their mental wellbeing strategy in line with the new normal.

In some cases, employers may also have found it necessary to adapt their mental wellbeing strategies in line with issues resulting directly from the pandemic. Assessing exactly what organisational support they want to provide and the most appropriate or effective ways of doing so for their workforce will have been crucial when structuring their strategy, whether introducing this for the first time or reviewing an existing offering.

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So wherever you are with mental health support in your organisation, Mental Health Week was designed to help you take this to the next level through exclusive insights and opinions uncovering best practice in this area. These included:

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck
Tweet: @DebbieLovewell