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Supporting people with mental heath issues at work

One in four people in the UK will experience a problem with their mental health at some point, making it essential to support those affected in the workplace.

But are UK businesses prepared for this challenge?

New research by office supplies specialist Viking Direct reveals that 45% of managers in the UK have not been trained to spot mental health issues in colleagues. What´s more, only 17% feel “very confident” in their ability to support colleagues experiencing mental health issues.

As a result, many employees may be suffering in silence, unable to access the support they need.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of the managers surveyed have been approached regarding issues relating to mental health, stress or anxiety, and 42% have had an employee requesting a day off for these issues.

Yet 67% of respondents believe there is a stigma around stress, anxiety and other mental health issues within the workplace.

“With so many managers believing that mental health problems are stigmatised in the workplace, it´s plain to see that there´s a lot more to be done,” said Clare Porciani, senior manager of HR operations UK & Ireland at Viking.

“Employers need to ensure that every employee (and particularly managers) receives training around mental health issues, and that this training offers knowledge that each employee can fall back on should they notice a colleague struggling or should they themselves be affected.”

It´s also important to establish and maintain a rapport with colleagues and make time for regular catch-ups and one-on-one time.

“Early intervention is key, so it´s really important that managers are having regular conversations with their colleagues, as well as looking for changes in behaviour,” Porciani advised.

Posted on September 10th 2018

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