Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week

mental health awareness week 2013
Right now 1 in 6 workers are dealing with a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression or stress.

This week is Mental Health Awareness week, the event aims to end discrimination and stigma related to mental health but also raise awareness of some of the issues.

Discrimination and confusion still surround the topic of mental health because people often hide away their issues.

They’re often tucked away under our exterior persona and the well-rehearsed “I’m fine” responses for fear of being seen as ‘weak’ or a ‘problem employee’.

Here are some of the most common mental health problems encountered in the workplace:

> Depression

> Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression)

> Postnatal depression

> Anxiety

> Stress

> Personality Disorder

(click on the links to find full descriptions and practical tips for providing support)

It can be challenging for managers and employees to even know where to start in identifying and supporting direct reports or colleagues who may be in mental distress.

However, don’t worry because there are some excellent resources available support you for free. One good place to start is Shift, an online resource for employers and employees which is full of helpful advice to get you started.

Here are a small selection of questions for Line Managers to consider to assess if they are currently being proactive about the mental health of their staff:

• Do you have regular work-planning and appraisal sessions so that you can spot any mental health conditions in the early stages?

• Do you specifically check on the well-being of staff in these sessions? E.g. excessive travelling, long hours, pressures at home such as moving house, getting married, having children, bereavements etc.?

• Do staff know that they can talk to you confidentially if they have a problem?

• Do you conduct staff attitude surveys?

• Do you conduct exit interviews when people leave?

• Is there a system to ensure that the organisation addresses feedback from attitude surveys and exit interviews?

• Do you monitor other factors that might indicate high levels of stress / mental health conditions e.g. levels of complaints from customers or staff, accidents, levels of harassment or bullying?

• Do you monitor sickness absence and is there any analysis of this data?

If you have any questions about Mental Health in the workplace you are very welcome to contact Outstand and we can signpost you to the most appropriate place.