Tackling Mental Health head on
From experiencing mild anxiety to full-blown depression or feelings of helplessness, workers can experience an array of mental health issues.
Duty of care
All employers have a duty of care to their employees and must take all necessary precautions to ensure their mental wellbeing. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1992 requires employers to assess mental health work-related issues to measure the levels of risk to their employees.
From a health and safety perspective, it is also important to ensure that, if an employee is operating equipment or plant, for example, they are in the right place mentally to remain focused on the task.
BMRA's employment partner, Croner, offers member resources to help employees transition back into the workplace. Visit https://croner.co.uk/resources/ and search mental health.
It’s good to talk
Ensuring people have a way to share and/or vent their concerns, worries and feelings is a very important tool in tackling mental health issues.
With this in mind, companies should consider identifying a mental health champion who can lead on mental health issues in the workplace and to ensure they are appropriately addressed. Alternatively, employers can set up a mental health support group or a buddy system to encourage employees to share their concerns in a less formal way. All these options provide a point of contact for those who are having troubles to approach in the first instance.
At the same time, employers may want to consider asking employees to complete online mental health modules. These can be found at a range of places including Mental Health at Work and ACAS. Many of these online portals offer certificates of completion to encourage people to complete the modules, which have been developed with everyone in mind.
Ensuring that the workplace is a safe place for staff to be open about any mental health struggles is more important now than ever as the country, indeed the world, continues to navigate its way through the coronavirus pandemic fallout.