Mental Health Awareness: top tips to support your colleagues
8th October 2019
Mental Health issues are common, especially depression, anxiety and those associated with misuse of alcohol and other drugs. Research indicates that 1 in 4 people experience some form of mental health issue in a year.
There are many myths and misunderstandings about mental health issues stemming from a lack of knowledge. This may result in people avoiding or not responding to someone with mental ill-health or not seeking professional help themselves. With greater community awareness, people will be able to better understand their own mental health and feel more comfortable about seeking out professional assistance.
Early intervention initiatives target those with mental health issues or developing mental health issues to prevent difficulties from becoming more serious and reducing the risk of knock-on effects.
What you can do to help your colleagues:
Look out for changes in their mood and behaviour
Are they late or absent from work more? Are they isolating themselves? Do they get agitated easily and often feel overwhelmed? These could all be signs that someone is struggling with their mental health.
If you are concerned about a colleague, check if they’re ok. Ask them if they want to go for a walk or a cup of tea. Create a safe environment so they can open up to you if they need to.
Invite them for lunch
Especially in contracting, where someone might move roles and businesses regularly, it can help them to feel more included and maintain social contact at work.
Create an environment where mental health is spoken about openly
Let colleagues know that it is ok to ask for help and support and encourage it. An Intranet page with useful links and information on confidential support services that are available can also be useful.
Do some physical or mindfulness exercises…
…as a team once or twice a week during lunch. This might become a regular activity that helps your colleagues’ mental wellbeing and acts as a team bonding exercise at the same time.
If you or someone you know needs urgent help or support, there are a variety of services available. Your organisation may also provide you with confidential access to counselling and advice line services.
Remember, you are not alone!
We take Mental Health seriously
At Advance TRS, we prioritise the mental wellbeing of our staff. To provide a first point of contact when needed, we have appointed qualified Mental Health First Aiders. We also offer a Wellbeing Hub, where confidential support via an EAP helpline can be accessed at any time. These are only some of the steps we have taken and we continue to improve our mental health awareness.