Stress...Anxiety...Depression... the workplace is not immune from common mental health conditions. So what resources do we need to have in place that can support employees who are suffering. Here are a few tips in providing support to those in your workplace;
1. Line Manager Training - The first point of contact for any employee who needs support is their line manager. Line managers need to know how to support and manage employees who ask for help but not only this, they need to know the signs of when an employee is struggling and isn't communicating it. Working with HR and in collaboration with the senior leadership team is vital to maintaining the importance of the mental health wellbeing conversation.
2. Counselling - Whether you offer counselling to your employees through your insurance provider or not you can always reach out to a local counselling service provider and arrange for any employees to speak to a professional about their concerns. Offering up to 6 free sessions is a good place to start and anything more is even better. For some, talking to someone who is impartial and trained in this area can be the biggest step in improving their mental wellbeing.
3. HSE Stress Assessment - Free health and safety risk assessment templates can be found online and they now offer ones that relate directly to stress. This resource tool is great in managing stress levels in different departments within a business. A small pool of employees can be selected every other month to partake in these assessments so stress levels can be monitored throughout the whole organisation.
4. Mental Health First Aid at work - We always make sure there is enough first aiders in the office at any one time, but what about mental health first aiders? If you are sending a couple of employees to a first aid course why not opt them in for additional mental health first aid training. These individuals can become wellbeing champions in their organisation and be a point a contact for those who feel they are not able to speak as freely with their line manager.
5. Interactive/online training/education - There have been so many online tools launched in the last year that educate, provide resources or points of contact to workplaces who need help with mental wellbeing. My personal favourite www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk is a great place to educate employees and managers on all things mental health in the workplace - maybe share the link on your slack channel and draw peoples attention to it.
6. EAP - Employee Assistance Programmes are great for helping employees talk to someone without having to be face to face. Many EAP offer a 24/7 telephone number as well as an instant chat platform so individuals can have a conversation discreetly with a trained professional. I highly recommend signing up to a EAP no matter what size your organisation is.
Regardless of whether someone is going through a major life event or they have an ongoing condition, providing support and the tools so people in the workplace feel safe and happy has never been more important. Hopefully some of those resources once implemented can really make a big different in your organisation.