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Focus on wellbeing this Mental Health Awareness Week

This week, 13 - 19 May 2019, is Mental Health Awareness Week. So, what better time to talk about  mental health within the workplace.

The NHS ran a report in 2018 which surveyed more than 4,000 people. Findings showed that one person in every three had been formally diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime. The National Mental Health at Work report also revealed that a massive 61% of employees had, at some point, experienced mental health issues due to work, or where work was a related factor.

However, the survey did reveal that 65% of the employees felt their manager genuinely cared for their well-being. This is up 10% compared to 2016, which is hopefully an indicator of the success of many campaigns to raise awareness and address mental health. Having said that, there is still more to be done.

As a way of acknowledging Mental Health Awareness Week, ACAS has released a number of guides for employers, including ways to manage staff experiencing mental health issues and promoting emotional and mental wellbeing at work.

Spotting the signs of poor mental health is just as important as offering the right support to team members. According to advice provided by the NHS, some of the early signs which may indicate that an employee is suffering from a mental illness include:

  • fatigue,
  • demotivation,
  • feeling sad or down,
  • confused or erratic thinking,
  • excessive worries or fears; and
  • severe bouts of guilt.

Seeking the right help is important to support employees through bad spells, as well as help them back into work.

If you are an employee and consider that you may be suffering from poor mental health or notice signs that fellow employees are suffering from poor mental health you should talk to occupational health, manager or a trusted colleague.

If you are an employer, it is recommended that you have someone who has undertaken some mental health training within the organisation so that they are can identify signs for any mental health illness. In addition, if an employee approaches you with details of any mental health illness you should be as supportive as possible.

If you would like some help implementing any policies at work, or you would particularly like some guidance for dealing with mental health issues, either as an employee or employer, contact Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.

Posted on 13/05/2019 by Nicola O'Dwyer

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