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Help SAD Employees

Help SAD Employees

February can be a hard going month with its still short days and winter weather. Some individuals can feel low and discontent, but others can suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This mental health condition is a type of depression that comes with a range of symptoms that can vary among sufferers. Symptoms are like those of depression, but they only manifest during the autumn and winter months, although they can extend into spring. Symptoms may include:

  • Lethargy
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Increased appetite
  • Tearfulness
  • Feelings of despair, worthlessness, and low self-esteem
  • Lack of concentration
  • Irritability

Common treatments for SAD include increased activity and light exposure. Employers can help their employees who are suffering from these conditions by

  • Endorsing good mental health practices all year round, which produces a company culture that encourages employees to seek help
  • Having a trained mental health first-aider with whom employees can talk about their symptoms and treatments
  • Encouraging exercise by promoting walks as break-time activities or as “meetings on foot”
  • Promoting healthy eating by providing nutritious snacks
  • Allowing flexible hours so that employees can maximize their time in daylight
  • Maximizing light flow by keeping windows clean and unobstructed

An employer who believes someone is suffering from SAD should encourage the person to visit their GP, who may prescribe antidepressants or arrange for cognitive behavioural therapy or counselling.

Emcare’s mental health courses, including a Scottish Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA) Course, can also help by providing participants with a greater understanding of mental health conditions and issues.  These are ideal for Workplace Mental Health First Aiders and Champions. Having workplace mental health trained staff can be extremely beneficial to individuals within your business. See



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