Coronavirus why employees need support over mental health

There has never been a more important time for employers to look after their staff.

As we start to think about a return to work, all employers will need to recognise they owe a duty of care to their workforce with regards to the impact of this unprecedented situation.

And mental health will be a key issue as people come to terms with a changed world, face all-too natural anxieties about mixing with people again as we start to return to work and adapt to the uncertainties which are certain to exist for many months to come.

Existing mental health issues,  particularly anxieties are likely to be exaggerated during this situation. The worry, stress and uncertainty caused by living through an international crisis should not be underestimated – and will test the coping strategies of a good many people.

But there is lots we can all do to help ourselves – and each other – deal with the mental health aspects of coronavirus.

The first is to recognise just what a stressful time this is for all of us. And if you already experience mental health issues, it may well be they are worsened by the current situation as people adjust to working from home, self-isolation, supporting students or keeping safe.

All good employers will have developed plans for returning to work and protocols for keeping staff safe and well. But speak up if you think they are not right or if you believe they are failing to keep you as safe as possible. And don’t tolerate any changes of circumstance which you think fail to protect you. Your employer has a duty of care to you and coronavirus is no excuse for not fulfilling it.

That means that any re-opened workplace should have some basic hygiene measures in place, including:

  • Accessible hand washing facilities which staff can use whenever they feel the need.
  • Clean workplaces 
  • Workstations are kept two metres apart for social distancing reasons
  • Hand sanitiser is available wherever possible
  • Staff are not penalised if they need to take time off
  • Staff have clear guidelines on what to do if they or a member of their family is taken ill.

If you feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Your employer should arrange a meeting with you to explore and discuss how you are feeling, see what adjustments can be made and work with you to offer help and support.

There has never been a more important time for employers to look after their staff.

As we start to think about a return to work, all employers will need to recognise they owe a duty of care to their workforce with regards to the impact of this unprecedented situation.

And mental health will be a key issue as people come to terms with a changed world, face all-too natural anxieties about mixing with people again as we start to return to work and adapt to the uncertainties which are certain to exist for many months to come.

Existing mental health issues, particularly anxieties are likely to be exaggerated during this situation. The worry, stress and uncertainty caused by living through an international crisis should not be underestimated – and will test the coping strategies of a good many people.

But there is lots we can all do to help ourselves – and each other – deal with the mental health aspects of coronavirus.

The first is to recognise just what a stressful time this is for all of us. And if you already experience mental health issues, it may well be they are worsened by the current situation as people adjust to working from home, self-isolation, supporting students or keeping safe.

All good employers will have developed plans for returning to work and protocols for keeping staff safe and well. But speak up if you think they are not right or if you believe they are failing to keep you as safe as possible. And don’t tolerate any changes of circumstance which you think fail to protect you. Your employer has a duty of care to you and coronavirus is no excuse for not fulfilling it.

That means that any re-opened workplace should have some basic hygiene measures in place, including:

  • Accessible hand washing facilities which staff can use whenever they feel the need.
  • Clean workplaces 
  • Workstations are kept two metres apart for social distancing reasons
  • Hand sanitiser is available wherever possible
  • Staff are not penalised if they need to take time off
  • Staff have clear guidelines on what to do if they or a member of their family is taken ill.

If you feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Your employer should arrange a meeting with you to explore and discuss how you are feeling, see what adjustments can be made and work with you to offer help and support.

If there is no need for you to be at the workplace to carry out your role, ask if you can work from home. Employers should be mindful of allowing anybody who can work remotely to do so as social distancing restrictions continue.

With increased anxiety can come an inability to concentrate for as long as normal and lack of focus. It might be worth asking for additional rest breaks, deadline extensions or temporarily decreasing your workload as you adjust to the new normal.

There are lots of way for employers to help staff deal with mental health issues at work – but It’s helpful if they create an environment where staff feel able to talk openly about their problems.

That way they can ensure you get early access to any help you might need, such as occupational health support, and build an organisation that responds to the unique needs and characteristics of all its employees.

At a time when we’ve all been isolating, it’s never been more important to have someone to turn to.

If you need any help with any issues surrounding mental health and your workplace just get in touch. We’ll be happy to help.

There are lots of way for employers to help staff deal with mental health issues at work – but It’s helpful if they create an environment where staff feel able to talk openly about their problems.

That way they can ensure you get early access to any help you might need, such as occupational health support, and build an organisation that responds to the unique needs and characteristics of all its employees.

At a time when we’ve all been isolating, it’s never been more important to have someone to turn to.

If you need any help with any issues surrounding mental health and your workplace just get in touch. We’ll be happy to help.

If you would like to discuss these issues, or other HR concerns then please

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