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How Does Occupational Health Support Employees’ Mental Health?

Occupational Health plays a key role in supporting the mental health of people across your workplace.

With one in four people experiencing a mental health problem at some point in their life, having the right support available is highly beneficial to both employers and employees.

The winter months, darker nights and cooler weather can have a big impact on mood. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), impacts around 2 million people in the UK and over 12 million people across Northern Europe. If you’re considering offering additional support for your team, now could be the most appropriate time to do so.

What mental health support is offered?

Access to therapy and counselling  

The main benefit to your workforce is the ability to access therapy and counselling in a timely manner. Current NHS waitlists vary from several months to a year, depending on the region you live in. Many individuals experiencing mental health problems benefit from access to therapy and counselling. By engaging in therapy and counselling, people can address their feelings and behaviours, whilst developing methods to challenge them and cope.

Having to wait to access therapy can have a prolonged negative impact on your employee’s mental health. Negative feelings and behaviours remain unchallenged and unaddressed. The employee is effectively left in limbo, and this can result in extended periods of sick leave which can amplify feelings of stress and worry.

Mental health assessments  

Like waitlists for therapy and counselling, individuals living in certain regions of the UK are subject to waitlists for mental health assessments. A mental health assessment can help identify conditions and determine the best treatment options. They can also help determine if an employee is fit to work and whether they’d benefit from adjustments and additional support.

Even if an individual isn’t subject to waitlists, they may wish to receive a second opinion or seek further insight into an existing mental health condition, via their Occupational Health services. Fast access to a mental health assessment and a second opinion can prove invaluable. It can help a workplace better support an individual both inside and outside of the workplace, whilst helping them to find the best treatment plan for their specific needs.

Line manager support  

Many line managers could benefit from extra mental health guidance and support. Especially when dealing with complex or new scenarios. Having the correct support networks and easy access to guidance can be beneficial in numerous ways.

If a line manager is properly supported, they can help spot early signs of mental health conditions. They can also ensure that a team member needing extra support with their mental health, receives reasonable adjustments if needed.

Adjustments to responsibilities can help an individual feel understood, confident and comfortable. It can also help them return to work and prevent periods of extended absence, which may lead to the individual feeling isolated.

Want to find out more about mental health support through occupational health?

We provide fully flexible solutions and deliver a range of services across the UK online, at your place of work and in person at our clinics. If you’d like to find out how we can help, please get in touch.