For a couple of years, mental health has been talked about extensively in the world of work.
ACAS reports that one in four people will experience some mental health issues at some point during their life. This means that mental health and wellbeing are making an appearance on the HR agenda and business strategy and are critical to master in modern workplaces.
Despite this, many companies and managers still shy away from the topic as it is notoriously taboo to discuss mental health issues with people and also potentially legally risky as there is a fine line between openness and a discrimination claim landing on your desk.
The guidance out there is also relatively new and although good, it often isn’t enough to answer everyone’s questions. HR is also often inexperienced on the topic.
So, where can we find more information?
ACAS and Mind, a mental health charity, are our favourite go-to websites for such information and they strike a good balance with their advice as well as making available useful templates for businesses.
A good starting point when looking at mental health is a change of mindset. We all have mental health ups and downs. Managers are often able to help through dialogue and small adjustments in deadlines, frequency of one to one meetings, changes in work processes etc. It isn’t about having been trained in psychology, it’s simply about listening to the person and how they perceive that their work is impacting on or being impacted by their mental health. By being compassionate and helpful people, managers can help enormously! Mind has published a couple of free booklets to help you start the conversation.