Most people look forward to the holidays as a time of joy. However, a survey conducted by YouGov found that a quarter of the people in Britain said that Christmas has a negative impact on their mental health.1 Thus, as the holidays approach, managers should be prepared to support employees who are suffering poor mental health.
- Be aware of symptoms of stress or deteriorating mental health, such as anxiety or being withdrawn. CIPD has published a useful table of indicators of poor mental health.
- Talk to the person directly in an open and a non-judgmental way as soon as you suspect there is an issue.
- Reassure the person that you understand that Christmas can be a difficult time for many people.
- Don’t make assumptions about what is going on with an employee, why they might find the holidays hard, or what assistance they need. Instead, ask what help or support they need. Suggest they go to your employee assistance programme or their GP.
- Be prepared to make reasonable adjustments at work for the employee.
- To reduce the risk of an employee who has gone off sick not returning to work, keep them informed of what’s happening in the workplace so they won’t feel isolated or forgotten.
To gain a better understanding of mental health and for Scottish mental health first-aid courses, contact Emcare today.