Managing mental health issues in melbourne's workplace

Managing Mental Health Issues in the Melbourne's Workplace

May 26, 2016 | By Caroline Robertson, Vitil

HR Services

Whilst an awareness of Managing Mental Health Issues in the Workplace is growing, there are still a lot of business employers across Melbourne, who do not know how to manage an employee who is suffering from stress, depression, anxiety or some other psychological issue and therefore do nothing.

This is not because they don't want to provide services to help but rather that they don't know how to help and therefore, don't know where to start to manage the situation. Once a taboo subject and perhaps to some extent still is, more and more people are comfortable to share their experience, especially in the hope that it may help others.

Mental health issues are non-discriminatory and can be triggered by anything going on in a person's life. How a person deals with these issues will very much depend on their individual situation and the support network they have around them. How Melbourne business managers and employers Manage Mental Health Issues in the Workplace will very much depend on their own personal experiences, the awareness they may have of the subject and the availability of expert Human Resource Services advice to help advise and guide them through the process.

It is important for Melbourne managers and employers to understand that the process cannot be rigid, as one size doesn't fit all, and that flexibility is required to meet the needs of the business whilst helping the employee.

So, how do you Manage Mental Health Issues in the Workplace?

First of all it is really important that you, or your key managers, get to know your employees and who they are as a person. Be proactive in developing a professional relationship built on trust and integrity. Doing so will make you more approachable and help employees feel more comfortable to talk with you when they have a problem. Be vigilant. If you notice a change in an employee's behavior, attitude or performance at work, make time to catch up with them to discuss your concerns and to find out how things are with them generally. They might not tell you everything you want to know however it opens the channels of communication from which to progress further.

In our experience as Human Resource Services professionals, we saw a situation where an employee who had always had exemplary performance and the motivation and passion to match, within weeks something changed and the employee's behavior, attitude and performance deteriorated. The Human Resources Services Advisor and Line Manager commenced an informal communication process, meeting with the employee in order to find out how they were and whether there was anything wrong.

Over the following weeks the employee's performance deteriorated further with additional meetings being held. It then became clear that some personal issues were possibly contributing to the situation at work. The employee was offered the Company's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) together with a request to visit their GP, as well as change their duties for a period in order to reduce the pressure. Vitil's Human Resource Services advice, assisted in the overall wellbeing and recovery of the individual over a period of time.

But all situations are different. Offering annual leave, further EAP support, a change in role, may also assist when Managing Mental Health Issues in the Workplace.

But should a situation deteriorate, the Company can request, with the employees written consent, to write to their GP to gain an understanding into their prognosis and how long it could be before an improvement in performance would be seen. This information would enable the Company to put a plan in place to Manage Mental Health Issues in the Workplace.

It is important to remember that whilst most Melbourne employers are happy to work with the effected employee, employee's need to remember that they have to meet the expectations of the Company in terms of taking up the help that is being offered and meeting the agreed expectations. Not doing so, could lead to more formal action being taken and up to and including termination of employment.

Vitil's Human Resource Consultants are a boutique HR consulting firm based across Melbourne, who offer flexible, reliable and affordable outsourced human resource support and recruitment services, where your team is the key focus. By outsourcing HR to an expert in Human Resource Services, our experienced professionals can objectively assess your environment, your human capital needs, and ensure you recruit to further develop your businesses performance.

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