Mental Health Awareness Day – what should managers do to help their staff?

Today is Mental Health Awareness day and managers play an important role in supporting employee wellbeing. The sooner a manager is aware that a team member is experiencing mental health issues, the sooner support can be provided.

Possible signs of mental illness include the following:

  • changes in behaviour or mood – signs such as withdrawal from normal office acitivity
  • drop in productivity or quality of work or focus
  • appearing tired, anxious or withdrawn
  • absence from work

What is important is that managers create an environment where staff feel able to open up about feelings.

Talking to a team member with potential mental health issues is not easy but it is better to try to resolve concerns early, being approachable and sensitive.  This will allow both parties to agree a strategy of support and timelines for effective ongoing monitoring and support. Maintaining regular contact is vital and will provide regular opportunity for the manager to check in and demonstrate organisational support – which will ultimately assist in the improving health and well-being of the employee.

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