How to Spot Mental Health Issues in the Workplace

Mental health

How to Spot Mental Health Issues in the Workplace

Everyone has been affected differently by COVID-19. Some people have been on extended leave from work, others have lost their jobs, many people have faced health concerns. The events of 2020 have had a significant impact on people’s mental health.

For those still in work, targets may have become more pressured, there could be a threat of job losses and for some business’s excessive amounts of work but limited resources and support to carry it out.

According to a recent survey by MIND found that 42% of those surveyed had considered resigning when asked how workplace stress had affected them.

It’s easy to miss some early warning signs of mental health problems in the workplace. But there are some common signs to look out for regarding an employee’s wellbeing. During a recent episode of the East Anglia Business Webinar series Jacqui Kemp, Director of Your People Potential, explained that it is essential that we all know how to spot the signs for when someone is struggling.

There are five common signs that you should look out for:

  • Long-lasting sadness or irritability
  • High and low moods
  • Excessive fear, worry, or anxiety
  • Social withdrawal
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits.

Remember, if you spot one of these signs, it doesn’t always mean someone has a mental health issue. It could signal an underlying health problem or something else entirely.

It is essential as an employer that you have a safe space to communicate your feelings and anxieties about work. Kemp goes on to explain that just asking how somebody is doing is a step in the right direction. She adds “you want to take the tension out of it and make it ok to say you’re not ok”.

Kemp also goes on to say that it is important for people to feel like they can communicate with their colleagues when they are struggling. This open and honest communication allows for the people around them to know the signs they are struggling mentally and, in turn, this then allows for a dialogue about how their feeling.

Dialogue about mental health is a 360 conversation. Employees need to be comfortable sharing their thoughts, feelings and challenges with their colleagues. But employees also need to feel comfortable and empowered to ask the potentially tricky questions.

For more information on obliterating mental health stigmatisation in the workplace, watch the full episode of the East Anglia Business Webinar series now.