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How to Talk to An Employee That Has Mental Health Concerns

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 4 people have a mental illness – if you have an employee that has confided in you about theirs, it’s really not uncommon. In fact, many of your employees are likely experiencing symptoms of a mental illness, but either are unaware of it or are afraid to speak about it in the workplace. If your employee has decided to disclose this information to you, this is a wonderful opportunity to not only provide them with resources and support, but to also set the stage for respect and inclusion in the workplace. Many organizational cultures lack this form of compassion and understanding, which leads many employees to feel disconnected from their coworkers, supervisors, and ultimately, their job. By working with your employee to ensure their success in recovery, you’re optimizing your organization’s teamwork and success capabilities.

Seth Burr, co founder and COO of LABUR, a recruiting firm in Boston, told NBC News earlier this year, What people may sometimes forget to prioritize when it comes to discussing mental health in the workplace is that at the center of it all is the well-being of a company’s biggest asset — its people — and nothing is more important.”

There are a number of things you should keep in mind when speaking with an employee about their mental health:

  1.     Play on their strengths and the value they bring to the company
  2.     Assure that your employee’s concerns are confidential
  3.     When discussing your concerns, frame it in terms of workplace performance
  4.     Do not diminish your employee’s experiences by saying things such as, “Everybody gets anxiety from time to time.”
  5.     Ask your employee to bring in any documentation they may need for workplace accommodations, and provide them with departmental resources they can utilize for additional support both in and out of the workplace
  6.     Schedule follow up meetings to ensure continued communication and support

Whether it’s for disciplinary reasons or your employee is opening up to you, this moment is crucial to framing the discussion of mental health with your employee and organization overall. From there, you may want to consider hosting mental health workshops so that all of your employees have resources they can use if needed. Your employees will respect you for this and will likely feel much happier and secure in the work they do because they know they’re being taken care of.

If you are currently experiencing symptoms of a mental illness, speak with someone today to begin your journey to recovery. Your happiness and health matter.

Eventually, there is nowhere left for trauma to go when we leave it unresolved, and it shows up everywhere in our life begging to be healed. Make the decision today to enter trauma recovery and find healing. Call The Guest House Ocala to learn more about our residential care programs for trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues: 855-483-7800