According to the mental health charity Mind, 1 in 6 workers are dealing with a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression or stress at this very second. In fact, 1 in 4 people experience mental health issues each year, which amasses to 792 million people affected by mental health issues worldwide.
With so many people experiencing mental health difficulties, especially after going through a pandemic, it is essential to make sure that as employers we are supporting our staff and letting them know they are not alone.
Therefore, here are some top tips for supporting your employees as they deal with mental health issues.
Operate an open-door policy
Speaking about your mental health can be extremely difficult, especially as these things still have a stigma attached to it. Employees might think that by voicing their anxieties that you will find them unfit for the job.
Instead, operate an open-door policy, where your employees are always welcome to sit down and have a chat about how they are doing. You might find this best to do through regular 1-to-1 catch ups, or just on a drop-in basis.
Facilitating an atmosphere of communication, where everyone feels comfortable to talk is something better than money can buy. Encourage everyone to be open and honest about their feelings, stresses, and worries, so that you can support them to the best of your ability.
Make the necessary adjustments without judgement
As mental health can be a long-term debilitating condition, mental health problems can fall into the category of a ‘disability. Employers are required by law to make reasonable adjustments for those with a disability, as stated in the Equality Act 2010.
However, employees may feel worried that companies will discriminate against them for needing adjustments, or that requiring an adjustment is an admission of weakness.
It is essential, therefore, to not only ascertain what reasonable adjustments need to be made, but to implement them with understand and sensitivity, and without judgement.
Offer private mental health support with your benefits package
It is no secret that mental health services through the NHS are stretched, coming with extremely long waiting times. On the other hand, private therapy sessions and mental health support can be too costly for people to afford on a regular basis.
To support your employees, offering them private mental health support within your benefits package. With YuLife’s life insurance for business owners, employees have access to support – anytime, anywhere.
With 24/7 telephone and online access to clinically trained mental health experts, and structured clinical counselling, this will support your employees with work, relationship, or financial issues.
Just support them
No one mental health issue is the same as another, and so it is down to your best judgement in how to approach each personal situation.
However, by providing a supportive environment, this can lead to less time off and improved morale in the workplace, which can prevent future mental health issues over time.
Remember, mental health and physical health are equally as important. In taking these steps to let employees know that they are not alone, you will be able to better support them through any mental health struggles.