Can you tell if your employees have poor mental health?

Employers need to ensure everyone receives proper training to identify mental health concerns

Can you tell if your employees have poor mental health?

The modern work environment brings about everyday pressures that can become toxic when ignored. The question is: are HR leaders equipped to identify signs of distress in the workplace?

Sixty-five percent of managers in the UK said they have been approached regarding mental health concerns. Despite this, only 35% have been trained to spot issues in workers, one study showed.

Viking, an Office Depot company, examined how prepared managers were in identifying mental health issues in the workplace:

  • 45% of leaders said they lacked proper training to detect warning signs.
  • Only 17% felt “very confident” in their capacity to support employees.
  • 67% felt there was a stigma surrounding mental health issues.

“Despite the workplace showing great positive movements in quality of life, inclusivity and many other areas, we’re falling short when it comes to knowing how we can support those struggling with their mental health,” said Clare Porciani, Viking’s senior manager of HR operations in the UK and Ireland.

“Employers need to ensure that every employee (and particularly managers) receive training around mental health issues, and that this training offers knowledge that each employee can fall back on should they notice a colleague struggling or should they themselves be affected,” Porciani said.

Nitika Rewari from the Mental Health Commission of Canada said the workplace plays a crucial role in either confronting psychological health and safety challenges or compounding them.

“Organisations must assess on an ongoing basis, the current state of their processes and mental health-related concerns,” Rewari said. She discussed the best ways to advance mental wellness in the workplace in this HRD article.


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