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As an employer, you have a duty of care to look after the wellbeing of your staff. While it’s easy for managers to spot any physical conditions employees may be facing, mental health problems can slip under the radar. According to the 2017 Mental Health at Work Report, as many as 31% of workers have been formally diagnosed with a mental health issue, with depression and anxiety being the most common conditions. This is not only difficult for the affected individuals, but without the right support can increase absenteeism, which costs UK businesses billions of pounds every year. One of the simplest ways to begin looking out for employees’ mental health is to educate them about issues they may be facing. Here is how raising awareness about depression in the workplace can help staff recover and how to go about this:
There is still a stigma associated with mental health, so staff may not feel comfortable opening up about their problems. This can be particularly problematic when it comes to men’s mental health, as they aren’t as actively encouraged to open up about their problems as women are. By encouraging open discussion about how to deal with depression in the workplace, it will help staff to realise that they are not alone and give them the confidence to approach you for support. A great way to achieve this is to openly share your own experiences with mental health. This can help demonstrate to staff that you are understanding of the condition and are concerned with looking after the welfare of your employees.
Sufferers of depression may find it hard to deal with some of the struggles of normal day-to-day life and this can impact their ability to work comfortably. When the whole team is better informed about the impact depression can have on individuals, they are more able to support colleagues or themselves, when suffering from the condition. An excellent way to improve their education is to encourage collaboration on fundraising events such as for mental health awareness week. This will help reinforce the message that caring for your mental health is of great importance, which will in turn aid with recovery.
Our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a proactive method of ensuring employees have the information they need to cope with their personal problems, to help prevent an adverse impact on their health, wellbeing or work performance. By providing posters, literature, videos and management information, our EAP helps embed the importance of caring for mental wellbeing throughout the whole organisation. This means that managers know the steps to take to intervene when they suspect an employee is suffering from mental health problems, and employees understand what support is available, should they need to ask for help. Recovering from depression is a different experience for everyone and takes a varying amount of time. By spreading awareness within the workplace, managers and employees alike are aware of the techniques and support available, so that those affected can work towards recovery. If you want to find out more about our employee wellbeing services, get in touch with our wellness experts today, who will tell you everything you need to know.
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