It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems to inspire action and promote the message of good mental health for all. 

However, no one is immune to mental health issues and stigma still surrounds people talking about their mental health.

No more so than the workplace and a cycle of poor mental health will continue if employers don’t learn to identify and offer support to employees who show these early signs:

1. Frequent absences

The first alarm bell of a possible mental health issue seems a hard one to judge: employees who take frequent days off sick.

What if your employee doesn’t feel comfortable revealing that stress, anxiety or depression is the true reason for their absence,  But if your employee takes days off for an on-going problem without ever providing a doctor’s note, there may be an underlying mental health issue.

2. Employee morale and performance slip

People experiencing poor mental health may appear withdrawn and tired, have trouble making decisions and be emotional or irritable.

It could be that employees are afraid to take time off work because they think their employers might view their mental health issues as a weakness or an inability to do the job, added with the worry that someone else could take their job, the downwards cycle of poor mental health continues.

3. High employee turnover

Employees with mental health issues may resign because they feel that cannot get better while still at work. Others may do so because they feel work causes their mental health problems.

To help with these issues employers should put in place a wellbeing strategy that focuses on building an early mental health symptoms warning system. As part of this, employers should give information to employees about support services like confidential telephone advice or counselling.

In spotting the signs early, employers can show employees that there is a safe environment for them to speak up and find a way to improve their mental wellbeing.

If you would like any further information on Mental Health in the workplace, then get in touch.