A guide to workplace mental health issues and how to deal with was published in 2012 by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). ACAS developed the guide in conjunction with the NHS and their Workways agency that focuses on the issues of poor mental health in the working environment and how to reduce its impact.
Mental health issues currently cost UK employers around £30 billion every year due to absence, recruitment and lost work. This is a big problem and is one that is a difficult subject for some, even though it said that one in four people suffer from mental health problems.
The ACAS guide was developed to help educate employers and line managers in the issues and difficulties surround mental health and the way it impacts on employees and the organisation. It also helps to provide ways to spot potential signs of mental health issues and how to help those affected. The main points of the guide are:
- The importance of good mental health at work
- A number of common causes of mental health problems
- The way mental health impacts on the working lives of employees
- How to spot potential early signs of mental health problems and how to deal with them
Further to this, ACAS have provided practical advice in the second part of the guide on ways to manage mental health issues. The second section deals with four generalised states of mental health and provides information on how to:
- Analyse and become aware of the mental health of employees on the surface
- Take a deeper look into the personality traits of your employees and their coping strategies
- Develop a greater understanding of mental health through a watching brief and help to raise the awareness of mental health conditions
The guide offers a great resource for employers and managers on the topic of mental health and how to deal with it in the workplace. This information can help to improve how an organisation deals with mental health issues and could be used in line with the company's employee assistance programme to remain proactive on tackling mental health and boost employee wellbeing.