Did you know that 10% of people in the UK are reported to be living with depression? With that high of a statistic, it’s very likely that some of your employees are part of that 10%, and the mental health issue can hugely impact their work life. The mental health charity, Mind, found that one in five people take sick days because of stress. Worryingly, 19% of employees feel like they’re unable to speak to managers about their mental health.

So how can you as an employer, support your employees with their mental health?

It’s essential to be mindful in nurturing a healthy work environment. Make sure that employees aren’t overworked and that the office is a friendly and sociable space. Small things like an office radio, occasional early finishes, or even discounted gym memberships are good ways to support mental health.

In order to help an employee with depression, it’s important to be able to notice the signs that they might be suffering. Look out for tearfulness, low self esteem, lack of concentration, fatigue, a change in eating habits, withdrawal from social activities or conversation. If you spot these, arrange an informal chat with your employee to give them the opportunity to talk openly and confidentially with you if they wish. Make it clear to them that your door is always open.

It can also be beneficial to allow flexible working hours. In fact, research suggests that flexible working hours actually increases productivity, loyalty to the business and retention. You can set ‘core hours’ or ‘core days’ where all staff members must be at the office – this provides a form of structure which people with depression often benefit from. Allowing an employee to be able to work from home occasionally can also help. Other steps you can take are; providing light boxes or desks near windows for optimal natural light, offering a quiet space where employees can take a breather, allowing an employee to leave at short notice and time off for appointments relating to their mental health, for example therapy or counselling sessions.

At Dalton Wise we work with both businesses and individuals to provide support with improving wellness and mental health. Get in touch today to see how we can help you to support your employees.

Click HERE for last weeks Wellness Wednesday about tackling Negative Thoughts

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