Supporting employees with a mental health problem can be a difficult time for both employer and employee, particularly if a member of staff has to take some time off work. Thankfully there are some fine resources freely available that can make managing this difficult period slightly easier for both parties.
Such toolkits and documents have been carefully produced by respected organisations such as Business in the Community, Mind, and the CIPD.
Business in the Community partnered with Public Health England to produce a free toolkit to help all businesses support the mental health and wellbeing of its employees.
The toolkit aims to helps employers ‘take positive actions to build a culture that champions good mental health and provides a greater understanding of how to help those who need more support’.
You can access the toolkit here:
Resources from Mind
The CIPD worked with Mind, the mental health charity, to produce a mental health guide for managers to improve support for those experiencing mental ill health. The guide sets out the practical steps that employers can take to create a mentally healthy workplace and help prevent poor mental well-being in the first place. It is designed to support anyone involved in managing people in workplaces, from line managers in large organisations to owner-managers of small firms. You can access the guide by clicking here.
Independently, Mind has produced a very useful 15 page document entitled: How to support staff who are experiencing a mental health problem’ which can be accessed for free, here.
The approaches in the document are universal principles designed to support a wide range of people across diverse workplaces. It looks at:
- Creating a culture that supports staff to be open about their mental health
- How to have a conversation with someone about their mental health
- Supporting employees with a mental health problem
- How to manage an employee’s time off sick and their return to work
A useful toolkit for an employee returning to work
As well as the aforementioned toolkits, we have also been impressed by one recently produced by Kingston University, Loughborough University and Affinity Health at work. In August, we were invited to provide feedback on this toolkit. It is available as PDF download and interactive online resource and we feel it’s one of the best around, for reasons mentioned on this tweet:
We've just read through this document and believe it to be one the best toolkits for both employers and employees dealing with a #mentalhealth absence. We were particularly impressed by its tone & balance, relevant advice, and links to resources. Well done to all involved 👏 https://t.co/jk4cOC4wQk
— Shine Workplace Wellbeing (@shineworkwellb) August 15, 2018
We particularly liked its equal weighting, with a large section for the employee containing exercises and practical information regarding mental health and returning to work. Additionally it includes conversation frameworks, checklists and personal activities to help improve communication both during the absence period and on return. The resource, according to the team behind it, aims to: ‘provide both employers/managers and employees suffering with mental ill-health, the tools and resources to help both parties navigate their way through the return to work process, creating a culture that is supportive and that leads to a successful return.’ You can access it via this link: https://returntoworkmh.co.uk/downloads/
Finally the website Mental Health at Work (curated by Mind and The Royal Foundation) website houses a number of resources which cover supporting employees with a mental health problem. These include guides, tips, podcasts, resources and videos with the main goal being improved workplace mental health. You can access it here.