Resources to assist line managers in supporting team members with mental health difficulties
It makes sense to support employees who are struggling with mental health problems and enable them to work effectively and manage their own mental health in the workplace.
When supporting staff, it is important not to label people by focusing on a diagnosis. Instead, talk to them about how their condition impacts on their work and seek ways to actively support them to continue effectively in their role.
If you would like to be notified of updates to these pages, log in at the right hand end of the blue bar (above) using your usual University sign-in details, and then click on the 'watch' icon at the top of the page.
It’s a myth to think people with mental health problems can’t work.
One in six British workers are affected by conditions like anxiety, depression and stress every year. Mental health difficulties can affect anyone.
Almost half of all adults will experience at least one episode of depression during their lifetime (British Journal of Psychiatry 2005).
One in ten new mothers experiences postnatal depression.
About one in 100 people has a severe mental health problem.
Many people effectively manage their mental health problems alongside the demands of a job and daily life, sometimes with treatment and support.
Others experience symptoms of mental ill health but may never be diagnosed with a condition. As everyone’s experience of mental health is different – people with the same condition may have quite different symptoms and coping mechanisms – it is very important to work with people on an individual basis.
Making reasonable adjustments
The Equality Act 2010 recognises disability as being a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on the person’s ability to do normal daily activities. This means that ‘reasonable adjustments’ must be made to enable the person to do their job.
Adjustments can often be made by the line manager, but for more complex cases UHSE or Occupational Health advice may be needed.
Access to Work can also help in providing a workplace assessment and will make recommendations for equipment and assistance, some of which can be funded by Access to Work. This must be initiated by the employee. Your department's HR Business Partner can assist with the application.
Health and Safety
Health and Safety
No person should be more at risk of injury or ill health because of a mental health condition. Risk assessments must consider individual circumstances, especially if a person’s mental health condition or the effects of any medication may put themselves or others at increased risk. There may be tasks that are unsuitable for some people with some mental health conditions.
Advice from UHSE must be sought if there is any question in this respect. An Occupational Health referral may be required.
Sources of help and advice within the University
Seeking advice and assistance as soon as you identify a difficulty often means that a problem can be avoided or at least caught before it becomes a serious issue.