Focusing on mental health in the workplace

The UK has fallen in the world rankings for health and wellbeing. Considering the amount of focus that is put on the subject in the UK, this is hard to imagine. Financial pressures are mounting, and a strain is being put on the health of families, and many people believe that their workplace should do more to help support their mental health and wellbeing.

Mental health, and the state of this in the UK, is one of the biggest issues facing workplaces today. Did you know that people are even turning to google for help on managing stress? Some of the most popular searches are being made for ‘time management’ and ‘tips for a better work-life balance’, it is now estimated that as many as 1 in 5 people will take a day off work due to stress.

As an employer, having employees who suffer with mental health can have serious effects on the individual and on your business. You could quickly see your staff turnover, productivity and motivation decrease. Now is the time to help and encourage your employees to help prevent problems further down the line.

Mental health matters and only 54% of employees feel that their direct line manager would provide them with support. Health Shield insights show that more than 3 in 4 females, and 2 in 3 males suffer some level of stress, and a lot of this can stem from the workplace.

It is well known that there is still a stigma attached to mental health even though the UK Government are making efforts to change this. This stigma is especially seen in the workplace where 9 out of 10 people feel they will suffer discrimination. It is the role of you as the employer to assist in ensuring those that are suffering do not feel this discrimination and keep the subject easy to talk about.

The lead in being forward thinking towards mental health in the workplace needs to come from all areas of the business and not just the HR department or the executives.

Help your employees to recognise the early signs of mental health to ensure your employees have access to support as early as possible.

What should you be looking for?

  • Does your employee seem irritable, or doing things out of character?
  • Is your employee making more mistakes than usual?
  • Does their behaviour seem off? Are they not taking lunch breaks, or acting out of character, maybe they aren’t meeting deadlines as normal?
  • Are they showing signs of being excessively tired, lacking in making an effort at work, suffer a rapid increase or decrease in weight?
  • Have they had a drop in their motivation and productivity?

Meeting one or two of these points doesn’t mean there is an underlying issue with their mental health, but it’s always worth checking on their health and wellbeing.

How do I help?

  • Increase awareness
  • Offer flexible working
  • Create some personal space within the workplace where employees can let off steam and relax
  • Make adjustments – some employees may be struggling to manage workloads

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With a Health Shield Health Cash Plan, your employees can have access to a 24/7 counselling and support helpline if your plan permits. Offering you the opportunity to provide further support.

To discover more about our Health Cash Plans and wellbeing products please visit the Health Shield website.