Mental Health

Mental Health

How to discuss mental health at work

Here are some starting points on how you can begin to discuss mental health in the workplace.

Be there for your workers – they may not be ready to talk but knowing the support is there when they are ready will reassure them

Seek advice – if you personally feel unsure on how to deal with their concerns speak to your HR, Health & Safety or Occupational Health Team

Useful tools – Counselling and helplines can be beneficial to employees struggling, many organisations have Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) which can provide these

Have a plan – these can identify trigger points for action, provide contact details and help recognise the different types of support employees may need.  Having reviews with employees will also enable you to evaluate the measures you put in place

Honesty – when it comes to an employee’s health, absence level or performance; having an open and honest discussion with them is going to be more productive than coming across formal and reserved for fear of saying the wrong thing

Listen – Give your employees the opportunity to raise their concerns, listen to them and respond. If they are having work difficulties involve them in trying to find a solution

Give them space – don’t assume your employee will need help all the time; sometimes they may be able to manage their mental health themselves and it is reassuring enough that you have measures in place for when they feel they need them

Open questions – just as we are taught for interviews; an open questions allows for a more detailed response, then allow the employee to respond in their own time and in their own words

Location – find a private place to talk. The place needs to put the employee at ease and it may need to be away from the workplace

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