Managing Employees with Mental Heath Issues

25 June, 2021

Mental health can be an incredibly difficult challenge to tackle in everyday life – let alone in the workplace. Here we’ve compiled three useful strategies for managing employees with mental health issues, helping you to promote a positive working environment for all staff.


Invest in Manager Mental Health Training

Time and time again, studies show that investing in employee wellbeing actually provides a fantastic return on investment. Managers, supervisors and team leads will, directly or otherwise, shape the culture and atmosphere at your workplace. It stands to reason, then, that giving your managers the knowledge and tools to support your staff with mental health problems is a sensible investment.

There are a lot of courses and resources available when it comes to training your managers in mental health. You could opt for a general approach, such as Mental Health First Aid Training, which anyone can do with no prior experience, not just managers. Ultimately though, you’ll want your managers to understand workplace guidelines and legislation, as well as specific ways to approach the employee-manager relationship with regard to mental health. Specialised management training is usually the best approach to this.


Give staff the Opportunity for Regular Social Interaction

COVID-19 has changed the way we socialise on a lot of levels, but the workplace has definitely taken a backseat throughout the pandemic. Working from home and endless web meetings have rendered office socialising all but null and void. Whilst this may not be the case for all workplaces, it definitely highlights an important part of workplace culture – allowing staff to connect with one another on a non-work level is key to developing a positive work environment, whilst also allowing staff to form relationships which can incorporate mental health support.

This isn’t to say that you need to turn the office into a cafe. But organising regular catch-ups, and even out-of-hours social events can encourage your colleagues to support one another on new levels that go beyond their work.


Allow Staff the Opportunity to Talk

Discussing mental health problems can be incredibly difficult, even with those closest to you. But when someone reaches out with an issue, whether its root is at home or at work, allowing them the opportunity to discuss it can be incredibly beneficial and can even lead to the individual seeking more help, if required. Nominating individuals in the workplace as points of contact for mental health worries is the safest and most effective way to help staff who want to come forward to talk. It helps to set clear boundaries (so the listener isn’t overwhelmed or badgered) and provide clear training on referral processes, such as utilising your EAP, and even crisis management.

Structure and planning is key to effectively managing wellbeing in the workplace – even more so with mental health. Providing effective training is also a very sensible step, to ensure a safe and consistent approach to all staff. If you’d like to discuss your mental health training needs, don’t hesitate to chat with us, or check out our full range of mental health services.


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