This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, which aims to increase awareness and promote positive mental health for everyone.

As an employer, you may have seen absences relating to mental health first-hand and as awareness is generated this is likely to increase. It can present a significant challenge to employers, so how do we manage it?

The causes of mental health issues may not be work related, they can be caused by various external factors. Irrespective of the source, employers are feeling the knock-on effects with increased absences, increased stress and lower levels of productivity which can cause an operational headache.

Here are some steps that employers can take to support positive mental health which can prevent some of the issues that may be arising in your workplace:

  • Provide support via an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). This can help with problems at home and work and can offer counselling and financial support. Some employers may have this via an insurance policy for free, so it’s worth checking out. They’re also inexpensive but can have a whole wealth of benefits.
  • Get your line managers on board. By training managers correctly, they will be able to handle the issues more effectively as they arise. Good mental health and good management are aligned so make sure you equip your managers with the right tools for the job. At AHR Consultants we have a number of CPD accredited courses to help your managers perform to the best, check out our latest courses here.
  • Conduct a stress assessment. If someone is absent due to stress/anxiety/depression a stress assessment will help identify the source and can demonstrate a best practice approach. AHR Consultants have designed an effective stress assessment tool which is designed to help and support clients with those trickier cases.
  • Promote flexible working. Everyone is entitled to request flexible working (it’s not just for parents anymore). Flexible working helps to achieve a better work/life balance for your employees. In turn, this promotes an inclusive company culture and when it comes to recruiting you are more likely to attract better talent to your business. Whilst this all sounds great, do make sure you get the process right so that you’re not overwhelmed! Contact us to see how we can make the process easier for you via our on-site consultancy solutions and policy suite.
  • Consider mental health first aid training. By investing in preventing the problem, this can provide an effective long-term solution.
  • Encourage employees to take their breaks. It’s simple, inexpensive but effective, it also supports increased productivity (a win-win for employers) so encourage lunchtime walks and team lunches.

There are many more ways in which you can effectively manage mental health in your workplace, to see how AHR Consultants can support your business, please contact us on 0345 076 2288 or drop us an email.