Mental Health – Are you doing enough?
One in four people in the UK will have a mental health problem at some point in their life.
Mental health is about how we think, feel and behave. Depression and anxiety are the most common problems that people suffer from. They can often be caused by difficult life events, such as bereavement, but can also be caused by work-related issues.
Work can worsen pre-existing mental health conditions. Problems at work can bring on symptoms or just make their effects worse.
Whether work is creating the health issue or simply just aggravating it, employers have a legal responsibility to help. Work-related health issues must be assessed to measure the levels of risk to both the individual and colleagues, and take any steps to either remove it or reduce it as far as reasonably possible.
According to research carried out by mental health charity, Mind, a culture of fear and silence around mental health is having an impact in the workplace, with more than one in five employees saying they have called in sick to avoid work when feeling stressed, and 42% saying they had considered resigning when asked how workplace stress had affected them.
In the same study, 56% of employers said they want to improve staff well-being. Yet they don’t feel they have the right training or guidance in place to do so.
If you think an employee is showing signs of workplace stress or poor mental health, it’s vital that you talk about the subject early on. This can then enable you to ensure that person’s needs are met and appropriate support is put into effect. Good people management skills and the use of empathy are at the heart of effective management of mental health in the workplace.
Having a mental health policy in place can also help with providing this support.
Whether you are an employer wanting to know more about your legal obligations to your staff and to discuss implementation of relevant policies, or whether you are an individual employee who feels they have been wrongfully treated due to your health issues, then please do contact our expert employment solicitors. We would be happy to discuss your situation and ensure all steps are taken to help you.
If you need further information, the Acas website has further information for both employees and employers: https://www.acas.org.uk/mentalhealth
This article does not constitute legal advice and you should contact us directly if you are facing a similar situation.
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