There is a big shift in focus towards mental health in society today. As a result, it’s the HR and People team’s responsibility to recognise the significant impact it is having on an organisational level and understand the effect of mental health in the workplace.

The subject of mental health is unavoidable. But just simply building awareness of mental health among your employees is no longer all that is required. Organisations should be taking strong and positive action to support everyone’s mental health and ensure support is accessible.

So how can you manage this? Here are some suggestions to help you deal with mental health in your workplace.

  • Educate yourself on the common signs and symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Facilitate good conversations and really ask and mean: “are you alright?”
  • Establish what reasonable adjustments can be made to support team members.
  • Identify the relevant support network within the organisation.
  • Understand limitations – What level of help can be given before another individual is at risk?
  • Develop and implement a health and well being policy around mental health.
  • It’s important to remember, this is not about opinion, but instead, impartiality, being non-judgmental and supportive.

It’s important for employees to feel safe and to know that if they reach out for help, they will get it. Mental ill health should be treated just like any other illness – the brain is an organ just like any other and can malfunction just like any other. Give employees the space and/or support that they need to heal and remind them of their value to the business.