Mental Health in the Workplace Level 3 (VTQ)

62 videos, 2 hours and 49 minutes

Course Content

Employers attitudes

Video 48 of 62
3 min 11 sec
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How can employers change their attitudes towards mental health in the workplace?

The first thing to do would be to inform themselves about some of these conditions and about the likelihood of them affecting their workforce. They need to know when they can occur and how they can occur and make sure that their workforce are aware that their employers can help and support them, should the need arise. It will be much easier for an employee to talk to an employer, a line manager or whatever if they are aware that that person knows a little bit about the subject, and knows what is on offer within their firm.

How do you think that a positive attitude towards mental health and the well-being of employees is actually beneficial to an employer?

The employer would see the benefit in less sickness leave from his employees and be aware that they were engaged more with their job. If that was missing, that would be a clue that something was happening and something was not right. I think employers fear employees having long periods off sick when they cannot help and the situation seems a little bit hopeless. And in a small firm, I would imagine that that is quite a problem.

Does that mean that obviously, that the earlier someone gets help?

Yes, I think that is so, yeah. The earlier they can find an area of support and the sign posted by their manager, by their employer, and start on the process of recovery, that's much better and it is even better if they can engage with them so that people know that any progress has been made and when they are likely to return to work, although that can feel a bit like pressure at times.

What about communication?

Obviously, if someone is away from work, because due to mental ill health, while it is important for someone within the organisation to stay in touch with them, what are the main things people need to consider when they are making a phone call to someone who is off work with mental ill health?

Some people when they are off sick with a mental health issue dread being contacted by their employers. It can be quite stressful for them thinking about the call. They imagine what the conversation is going to be. They think it is going to be a negative conversation and they may hesitate to give full disclosure about how they are at that time. If you are an employer, you need to make it very clear that you are inquiring how someone is getting on. It is not with a hidden agenda of when are you coming back and how will you be. It really is, "How are you, how are you doing, what can we help with?"

So it is more encouraging, and keeping in touch to make sure they do not feel isolated?

Yes and not to increase the stress on the employee.