Mental health issues can negatively impact employees and businesses alike. In fact, mental health problems are one of the leading causes of absenteeism and presenteeism in the workplace in Canada. They can also lead to reduced productivity, increased errors, and accidents.
Unfortunately, mental health problems are often left untreated due to their stigma. This is particularly alarming in the workplace, where people may feel like they need to put on a brave face or be seen as weak.
However, it’s important to remember that mental health problems are real and should be taken seriously. In addition to providing technology-related benefits, such as wellbeing technology for consulting, you must also help your employees with mental health issues to recover.
What Are Mental Health Issues?
Mental health issues cover many conditions that can affect a person’s mood, thinking, and behavior. Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and eating disorders are the most common mental issues in the workplace.
A person experiencing mental health issues can have problems with work, school, and relationships. In some cases, they can even lead to suicide.
Signs That an Employee May Be Struggling Mentally
As an employer, you need to be aware of the signs that your employee may be struggling with a mental health problem. Look out for the following signs:
- Changes in behavior or mood
- Withdrawing from friends or activities
- Excessive absences from work
- Decreased productivity
- Increased errors or accidents
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble making decisions
How to Help an Employee with Mental Issues
If you’re concerned about an employee’s mental health, there are a few things you can do to help.
1. Encourage Them to Seek Help
Encourage an employee to seek help if you believe they face mental health problems. This could mean making an appointment with their doctor or seeing a counselor or therapist.
You can also help them find resources or information about mental health services in your area. Nowadays, many companies offer virtual consultation, such as ICBT consultation in Canada. It is a program that allows your employees to talk to a professional online.
2. Create a Supportive Work Environment
Creating a supportive work environment can go a long way in helping employees struggling with mental health issues. This includes promoting open communication and providing adequate resources for employees to get help if they need it.
You should also make sure that your workplace policies and procedures consider mental health issues. This includes flexible work arrangements, leaves of absence, and return to work plans.
3. Provide Training for Supervisors and Employees
You should train your supervisors and employees to recognize the signs of a mental health problem. They should also know how to provide support to someone who is struggling.
You can provide this training yourself or bring in an expert to do it. Either way, it’s vital that everyone in your workplace is aware of the issue and knows how to handle it.
4. Seek Professional Help
If you’re not sure how to deal with an employee’s mental health issue, you may seek professional help. This could mean hiring a counselor or therapist to support your employees.
You can also consider implementing an employee assistance program (EAP). These programs offer confidential counseling and support for employees struggling with mental health issues.
5. Implement a Mental Health Policy
Implementing a mental health policy can help to ensure that your employees feel comfortable seeking help for mental health issues. The policy should outline the procedures and resources that are available to employees.
It should also address confidentiality and privacy concerns. This is important because employees may be reluctant to seek help if they’re worried about their information being shared.
6. Provide Mental Health Benefits
Many employers offer mental health benefits to their employees. These benefits can include counseling and therapy, medication, and psychiatric care.
If you’re unsure if your employer offers mental health benefits, you can ask the human resources department. They may also tell you about any programs or services available to employees.
If your company doesn’t have this program, you can hire third-party companies that handle these kinds of services for your employees. For instance, they can manage telemedicine solutions for online consulting. This means that your workers can have a virtual check-up with qualified doctors in minutes. They don’t have to travel to a clinic or hospital to consult a physician.
7. Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle
Encouraging a healthy lifestyle can help to prevent mental health problems from developing in the first place. Some examples are eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep.
You can promote a healthy lifestyle by offering wellness programs or discounts on gym memberships. You may also encourage your employees to participate in activities like yoga or meditation.
Mental health problems are real and can significantly impact a person’s life. As an employer, it’s important to be aware of the signs that an employee may be struggling. You should also know how to provide support and resources. If you’re not sure how to deal with a mental health issue, consider seeking professional help.
Implementing a mental health policy can also be beneficial. This policy should address confidentiality and privacy concerns. This is essential because employees may be reluctant to seek help if they’re worried about sharing their information. If you don’t have time or resources, consider hiring a company that can take the burden off you.