Mental Health and the workplace

“Employers who understand the link between employee well-being and organizational performance are best positioned for success in the economic recovery.” – David W. Ballard, PsyD., MBA, head of the Center for Organizational Excellence.

Mental health at the workplace cannot be ignored and mental health issues include symptoms of stress, anxiety as well as depression. It is important that managers recognise when someone at work is perhaps struggling with their mental health and here are some suggestions how to deal with this very sensitive matter:

  • One-to-one meetings which are to be held in an approachable manner. This gives you space and time to discuss sensitive issues and ensure that meetings are held in a private place.
  • Do not  ask judgemental question and offer help however do not jump to conclusions as employees may find it hard to admit that they are suffering and that they actually need support.
  • Set out a clear plan and way forward and try to identify what is triggering the stress and see if any adjustments may be made. Also be honest about any concerns you have – best to point them out at an early stage rather than when it becomes too late.
  • Agree when you are to have your next meeting as it may then be difficult to call a meeting later hence best to set it before you leave the meeting and like this both parties know when the next discussion will be held. However inform the employee that they may call upon you between meetings and encourage your employee to seek support even from family and friends.
  • Keep the conversation confidential and give assurance to the employee that confidentiality is key and the information will be shared as limitedly as possible.