How to Recognize and Address Mental Health Problems with Your Employees

Maintaining a healthy workplace should be the goal of every employer. Not only is it a way to demonstrate to your employees that you care which will in turn help you attract and retain top talent, but it can also significantly impact your company’s bottom line both in terms of productivity and workers’ compensation claims. In order to maintain a truly healthy workplace, employers must treat mental health with the same care that they treat physical health.

Factors that affect employees’ mental health

While there are a number of issues unrelated to the workplace that may be affecting your employees’ mental health such as genetics, problems at home, or substance abuse, there are also many other factors that are directly related to the workplace.

These factors may include things like harassment, bullying, presenteeism and stress to name a few.

When an employee is affected by mental health issues, it can affect the whole company. If you suspect someone that works for you is struggling with their mental health, it can be difficult to know what to do or how to address it. But the earlier that you can recognize the problem and address it, the better it will be for your employee and everyone around them.

Signs your employee may have a mental health issue

The following are some signs that an employee might be struggling with their mental health:

  • Moments of confusion or difficulty focusing on their work.
  • Irrational fear or anxiety. If an employee has unnecessary fear about losing their job or anxiety about unnecessary things, it may indicate a mental health issue.
  • A decrease in productivity.
  • Withdrawal from social situations.
  • Mood swings and erratic behaviour. They may start to become more easily frustrated or angered or overreact to what most would consider a minor issue.
  • Taking excessive time off. While everyone may need a “mental health day” every now and then, if an employee requires a lot of time away from work, it may indicate a problem.
  • Signs of poor eating or sleeping habits.
  • Evidence of substance abuse.

How to address possible mental health issues

Despite efforts made in recent years, for many employees there may still be a stigma associated with mental health issues and as a result, employees may be uncomfortable discussing such issues with their employers. Nevertheless, it is important for employers to address these issues with urgency and care.

Before you address an issue with an employee, it’s important to know what resources are available that the employee can access if they need to. This may include things like an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or our QuikCare Thrive app. If you are unsure of what resources are available, you might want to consult with your HR department first.

It is also important to remember that mental health issues are not the same as other performance related issues. It is a health problem, and not something that the employee chose. Ensure that your conversation with the employee is conducted with empathy and is done in private.

The steps following this meeting will depend on the outcome of the conversation and on whether or not the employee is willing to seek help. There are many options including counselling, reduced job duties or hours, employee assistance programs, etc.

Contact TeksMed Today

Being aware of potential mental health issues and knowing how to address them is an important first step to maintaining a mentally healthy workplace. To learn more about the QuikCare Thrive App or steps you can take to mitigate mental health issues in the workplace, contact us today.

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