How to manage severe mental health problems

Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at the mental health charity Mind, discusses how severe mental health problems can act as a barrier for people getting into and staying in work, and explains how as an employer you can create a mentally healthy workplace.   Conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are relatively rare, each affecting an estimated 1-3% of the population. We often refer to these conditions as ‘severe’ because if they’re not well managed, they can severely impact on someone’s day to day life, including work.   However, it’s worth remembering that people with mental health problems – including severe mental health problems – can and do make a valuable contribution to the workplace, with the right support.   Unfortunately, people with mental health problems typically face lots of barriers in getting into, and staying in, work. A 2013 report by the charity Sane stated that just 8% of people with schizophrenia are in employment, against a national employment rate of 71%. But many people with schizophrenia who aren’t currently in work, want to work.   When people are supported to overcome the barriers they face in getting into employment, it’s important they are well supported to stay in work. Implementing workplace wellbeing initiatives help minimise the risk of sickness absence and falling out of work altogether for all employees, whether they have a mental health problem or not.   Excerpt from SHP Online, read the full article here.   Work is a large part of people’s lives. With increasing working hours as well as technological developments to support remote working, it is vital to ensure that there's a productive, healthy environment that is conducive to a healthy lifestyle.   Employers have a responsibility to minimise workplace risks and improve their employees' health and wellbeing. An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is an online and telephone employee benefit designed to help your team deal with personal and professional problems that could be affecting their home life or work life, health and general wellbeing.   Our EAP service provides a complete support network that offers expert advice and compassionate guidance 24/7, covering a wide range of issues. Confidential support is available and, dependent on the nature of the issue, counselling or guidance can be provided by fully qualified professionals. We strongly believe in providing an EAP service that offers not only reactive support when someone needs it but also proactive and preventative support to deliver the best possible outcomes for employees and employers.

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