Managing and supporting mental health at work
Did you know 17.9 million working days lost due to mental ill-health?
More than half of Britain’s working days lost in 2019/20 were due to mental ill-health, according to latest statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The rate of self-reported work-related stress, depression or anxiety was 828,000 workers last year, accounting for 17.9 million working days lost.
Workload, lack of support, violence, threats or bullying and changes at work are thought to be the main causes of poor mental health through work-related stress, depression or anxiety based on Labour Force Survey data.
Despite numerous mental health awareness campaigns and programmes to highlight employers’ responsibilities and the important of mental health at work; over the past five years, work-related stress has increased.
Supporting employees with mental health at work
Despite increased awareness of mental health at work, employers have a growing lack of confidence in discussing mental health matters with their employees.
However, from time to time we all need help in dealing with issues that just seem too much to cope with in addition to the numerous other demands on our busy lives.
Talking about it with a trusted work colleague or friend can really make a difference to that person’s well-being if they can listen without being judgemental. Just listening is not as simple as you may think and Managers may feel the need to provide instructions or worse take inappropriate action to manage the perceived risk to the business.
It is good practice to provide your employees with training in relation to mental health, if you are interested in attending a First Aid Mental Health course, we offer a variety of different ones depending on your needs. Our courses will provide knowledge on how to identify suspected mental health conditions in the workplace and the skills to start a conversation about them.
Employers have a moral and legal duty to care for their employees that has been enshrined in law for decades and mental health is just another facet of this duty to care.
An employer’s duty of care manifests itself in many different ways, and with one third of sickness notes handed out by GPs relating to mental health, it has never been more important for employers, managers and HR professionals to know how to effectively manage and support employees with ill mental health in the workplace.
Primed can provide assistance with the development of a workplace mental health policy, the provision of mental health first aid training and support your managers with the management of mental health in the workplace.
Advice to colleagues
The new realities of working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends and colleagues take time to get used to.
Adapting to lifestyle changes such as these can be particularly difficult for people with mental health conditions.
Fortunately, there are lots of things that we can do to look after our own mental health and to help others who may need some extra support and care.
Our top tips for supporting mental health and well-being
Here are some tips and advice that we hope you will find useful.
Have a routine
Keep up with daily routines as far as possible, or make new ones.
- Get up and go to bed at similar times every
- Keep up with personal
- Eat healthy meals at regular
- Exercise regularly.
- Allocate time for working and time for
- Make time for doing things you
Social contact is important
If your movements are restricted, keep in regular contact with people close to you by telephone and online channels.
Alcohol and drug use
Limit the amount of alcohol you drink or don’t drink alcohol at all. Don’t start drinking alcohol if you have not had alcohol before. Avoid using alcohol and drugs as a way of dealing with fear, anxiety, boredom and social isolation.
There is no evidence of any protective effect of drinking alcohol for viral or other infections. In fact, the opposite is true as the harmful use of alcohol is associated with increased risk of infections and worse treatment outcomes.
And be aware that alcohol and drug use may prevent you from taking sufficient precautions to protect yourself again infection, such as compliance with hand hygiene.
Be aware of how much time you spend in front of a screen every day. Make sure that you take regular breaks from on-screen activities.
While video games can be a way to relax, it can be tempting to spend much more time on them than usual when at home for long periods. Be sure to keep the right balance with off-line activities in your daily routine.
Use your social media accounts to promote positive and hopeful stories. Correct misinformation wherever you see it.
If you are able to, offer support to people in your community who may need it, such as helping them with food shopping.
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