Managing Mental Health Issues in The Work Place

10 October 2017

Mental Health

World Mental Health Day – Did you know it is World Mental Health Awareness Day today. Too often we get pushed along in our daily world and caught up in the rat race that we easily forget to stop and take a moment, look at the people beside us and simply smile. According to recent studies one in three of sick notes handed out by GP’s are down to mental health issues. There are a number of mental health issues, some of them you will be familiar with or at least you will have heard of them, such as: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Phobia’s, Panic attacks and Anxiety. The number of prescriptions handed out by the NHS has doubled in the last decade. Many celebrities are also jumping on the mental health awareness campaigns in a bid to help those in need.

5 Simple Steps to Help you Get Through the Tough Days

1. Remember that feeling uninspired, down or feeling a lack of optimism is only temporary, it too will pass
2. Go for a walk or do some form or exercise even if it is just for 10 minutes. Exercise releases chemicals called endorphins which trigger a happy, positive feeling in the body
3. Become aware of your thoughts. If you are caught up in a world of negative thoughts remove yourself from the situation immediately, take a break, have a coffee, get some fresh air, listen to your favourite song or pick up the phone
4. Focus on what you can control, instead of what you can’t – when we are feeling low we naturally look at all the bad things in our life, the things we do not have, the people we are not happy with and the situations we can not control. Why not create a happy journal and jot down all the things you are in control of and can be happy with in your life right now
5. Take an early night and get a good nights sleep – Cook your favourite meal, have a hot bath and catch some well earned Zzzz’s. ruok?

In the hair and beauty industry stylists and therapists are renown for being the most happiest in the work place. This in most cases is true, but both stylists and therapists do tend to take on and absorb their clients’ troubles. We are to some degree like counsellors for them on their 6-8 weekly visits. Some information that is shared with us can be very confidential, so much so they wouldn’t even share certain parts of their lives with their close friends/family but spill the beans on their whole life story within 5 minutes of meeting their hair stylist.

Managing Mental Health Issues in the Work Place The first indication you will see with someone who is not feeling themselves can be there change in work ethic. A hard worker may start to lack in motivation or you may notice their performance levels drop suddenly. Yes we are told and taught to leave our private life and personal problems at the door, but as employers we do also need to remember that we are human and we all respond to circumstances and situations differently.

Mental health should be treated in the same way as physical health. Just because we can not see it does not mean it is not there. – Let them know you are there – regular 121’s are key to allowing your employees to open up to you about any problems they may have. This in turn will help control the effect one person has on the rest of your team. – Any days an employee has off sick due to mental health issues – ensure you have a back to work meeting. If possible discuss an option to temporarily cut down their hours if needed or if they would like to focus on smelting in particular or help you work on a new project. Changing their focus will distract them for their regular negative thoughts and give them direction which a lot of the time is what we need. – Develop an action plan – work closely with your employee to discuss possible triggers of stress and who they can contact at work for support and guidance – Agree what information they would like shared with colleagues – a lot of mental health issues are confidential, although mental health is becoming a much more open topic some do like to keep it private – Telling employees they have been missed or that the door is always open for them is sometimes all it takes

This blog post has not come from a GP or from the NHS, it is simply a short guide with ideas on how to help those that need a little push in the right direction.

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