Managing Mental Health Issues At Work

Date: 01/11/2010

Managing the mental health of your employees is a sensitive business - find out how to recognise the warning signs.

Dealing with mental health issues in the workplace can be a difficult and sensitive task for business owners and managers, says Rhonda Andrews of the Barrington Centre, but it's important to be alert to the warning signs and aware of how to respond to them. She says mental health issues come in many forms: anxiety, mood changes, hyperactivity, extended sleep disturbance and depression. If untreated, they can lead to delusions, loss of touch with reality and - ultimately - suicidal tendencies. Rhonda Andrews says the warning signs - diminished concentration, loss of focus, fluctuations in output, uncharacteristic outbursts - may be evident or very subtle. All companies should have employee wellbeing guidelines, to conform with OH&S law, but personal observation and comments from other staff members are also important. Direct one-to-one contact with an employee who appears to have problems is often the best way to open discussions and offer help. Managers also need to look at the support structures available to the individual, both at work and at home and encourage them to seek professional help.

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Rhonda Andrews, Barrington Centre