Our understanding of mental health is constantly evolving. Just like physical health, our mental wellbeing is vitally important and can change from day to day.
At Croner, we believe that it’s vital that employers look after not your mental health and also support your employee's mental health at work.
We’ve put together a supporting positive mental health policy for you to download. If you need any additional support, get in touch with one of our expert advisors.
What is mental health?
Everyone has a mental health responsibility, just as we do for our physical health. Just as we can become physically unwell, our mental health can make us ill. Mental health refers to the wellbeing of our mind and can change depending on life experiences and stress.
The mental health of your workforce is no different. Their mental wellbeing is linked to their productivity and attitude. This can appear as dips and highs, which is completely normal.
When someone has good mental health, they can reach their full potential. This enables your staff to deal with what life decides to throw at them and can play a large part in their relationships (personal and professional).
Failure to address mental health concerns could ultimately lead to your business losing talent. So, having the right approach can be beneficial for employers both in terms of productivity and retention.
What are mental health illnesses?
Mental health illnesses can affect your employees' everyday lives, from anxiety and depression to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Mental health can be complex for some individuals and require them to undertake treatments.
It’s important to remember that everyone who is experiencing poor mental health isn’t going to have the same experience as someone else. Mental health is as individual as the person it affects, so there isn’t a one size fits all approach.
Supporting your employees
As we’ve mentioned, mental health illnesses can present themselves differently in each person. Being able to identify when one of your employees is struggling can be difficult.
That said, as an employer you should offer your employees support and promote good mental health.
There are ways that you can support all your employees with their mental health wellbeing. Effective training and development for those in leadership roles is a good step.
Develop manager's people skills
Ensuring that your managers have had the appropriate training will help support your employees. How your management acts around employees can have a significant impact on mental health.
Ensure that you put in place managers who engage with teams and promote the company's positive mental wellbeing at work. With well-trained line managers, you can reduce the stress your employees are under and reduce the factors that can lead to conditions such as anxiety.
As an employer, you should ensure that you and your team are trained in how to support your employees and spot the early signs of an employee struggling with their experience with mental health problems.
Spotting these struggles early will help prevent them from getting worse or becoming a serious health conditions. At this stage, employers and managers should be pointing their employees in the right direction to receive the right help (such as Mind)
Increase awareness of EAP services
Utilising an Employee Assistance programme (EAP) is a brilliant way for your employees to get the help they need. These services can offer counselling and therapy sessions to help employees find a safe and judgement-free space to talk about their struggles.
Promote a work-life balance
Working long hours or working without sufficient breaks isn’t a sustainable work model, and can lead to employees becoming burnout quicker. Promoting a good work-life balance can help your employees feel more refreshed for work and more productive.
You can do this by allowing employees to have flexible working, hybrid working or allowing them to adjust their start time and finishes. This could help reduce sickness absence for mental health challenges, and create a better work environment.
The law and mental health
According to the Equality Act 2010, mental health illnesses are categorised as a disability, and thus, can’t be discriminated against. A range of conditions is under the protection of the act, if there is a substantial and long-term effect that impacts their ability to carry out their role.
These don’t need to be clinically recognised as a disability.
Employers should make reasonable adjustments for employees who are struggling with mental health illnesses (or any illnesses).
Looking after our mental health is as vital as looking after our physical health. To help employers we’ve put together a template policy to help you support your employees with their mental health.
Croner has a team of award-winning HR consultants who are specialists in their field. We've been helping businesses for over 80 years and our advice line is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Why not speak to a Croner expert on 0800 470 2827
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