Editor's message: In the light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, supporting employees with their mental health has never been more important. Employees may be feeling anxious about their physical health and that of their families, their job security and, if working from home, they may also be experiencing feelings of isolation.
Organisations can help to boost employees’ mental health and wellbeing by encouraging them to talk to colleagues over the phone, or hold online meetings to see others face to face; to take a proper lunch break and get some fresh air outside (if possible with social distancing restrictions); and to seek advice from employee assistance programmes where available.
Employers should be proactive in monitoring the mental wellbeing of their employees and it is important that they understand the issues surrounding mental ill health and encourage disclosure in a sensitive way. Line managers play a key role in supporting employees who have a mental health condition and the employer should make sure that they provide comprehensive guidance and training for managers on how to do this confidently and effectively.
Having a policy or strategy to manage mental health in the workplace underlines an organisation’s commitment to promoting positive mental health and dealing with issues in a supportive way. It can also help to reduce the level of stigma surrounding mental ill health at work.
Sarah Byrne, HR practice editor
Updated to reflect the fact that more workers are required to attend the workplace as the lockdown is eased.
Updated to reflect that some workers are being asked to continue homeworking while others are starting to return to the workplace.
Many of us are neurodivergent and HR always has to be aware of mental pressures people are being put under by the current crisis. Matthew Trerise and Dr Angela Armstrong discuss the challenges neurodivergent individuals may experience due to lockdown and social isolation, with tips on how to help manage them.
With workforces and workplaces facing unparalleled challenges, Dr Barbara Mariposa takes us through the possible impact of the coronavirus pandemic on employees' mental health and wellbeing.
When an employee dies, HR needs to ensure that the news is communicated sensitively and managers support their teams as they grieve. This will be more difficult than ever during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Jo Faragher shares some expert guidance.
In the first in a series of posts about living and working at home, dealing with the challenges and conflicts that may occur, Professor Binna Kandola finds that the "capsule environment" can be a positive experience, one we will look back on with pride.
For many key workers, homeworking is not an option. Graham Brown looks at how employers are attempting to keep those people who still need to go in to work healthy and engaged during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Regular communications, mental health first-aiders, employee assistance programmes and online resources all have an important part to play in employers' efforts to support their employees' mental health during the current crisis.
Updated to flag up that this letter can be used to highlight the role that mental health first-aiders can play during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
BBA Aviation talks to XpertHR about introducing an improved employee assistance scheme, appointing a network of trained mental health first-aiders, and training line managers to speak to their team if they spot signs of a mental health problem.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to mental health.