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Supporting employees with mental health is an important part of providing a supportive workplace and never more so than during this Pandemic. The resilience of employees has been challenged by the current situation, although the mental health implications will vary from employee to employee.
It is well known that employees do not feel comfortable about speaking up about their mental health but employers do have a duty regarding the health and safety of their employees including mental health. Employees who have a mental health condition may have a protected characteristic under the Equality Act of 2010. If you would like further information regarding this please contact our HR team on 0117 970 2755.
Supporting the mental health of employees at work is an area where much has been written and lots of guidance and information published. Some pointers you might find useful:
· You should have one-to ones and catch ups with your team on a regular basis. This might alert you to signs of poor mental health.
· Be approachable and encourage staff to talk to you if they are having problems.
· Monitor workloads and be clear about priorities.
· Be aware of signs that might indicate a mental health issue, e.g. increased sickness absence, mood changes, irritability or anger, uncharacteristic performance issues etc. If signs are observed it does not necessarily mean that an employee is experiencing poor mental health but it could be a prompt for a wellbeing conversation.
· Be sensitive to the current covid-19 situation. Recognise that expectations might need to be adjusted in the short term if particular issues arise e.g. temporary closures of schools.
· If you have a conversation with an employee ensure you give it your full attention. For example ensure that there will be no interruptions, listen actively, encourage the employee to talk, avoid making assumptions etc. Think of the questions you might ask -how are you doing at the moment? Or not ask! Why can’t you just get your act together?
· Follow up any actions and if you feel it is appropriate you can refer the employee to Occupational Health.
If you are a member of our Occupational Health Service you will be able to refer an employee. OHS also offer a counselling service. If your Practice is interested in joining our OHS please contact
The LMC also offer GP Safe House. This is a virtual house where information and support can be found and details of on-line communication with an Advocate. For further information please contact
There are a numerous links to information regarding supporting mental health which you could signpost employees to e.g. Mind – the mental health charity .
If you would like further information on this topic of have any specific queries please contact us on 0117 970 2755 or
Finally don’t forget about your own mental health!