News: It’s time to step up mental health support for staff during the Covid-19 crisis

Employee Relations

It’s time to step up mental health support for staff during the Covid-19 crisis

Employers need to act now to help prevent their employees from being at serious risk of mental ill health during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, suggest a study.
It’s time to step up mental health support for staff during the Covid-19 crisis

Only 31 percent of managers are thought to have the confidence to have sensitive discussions around mental health and signpost staff to expert sources of help, say new figures published from the CIPD and Simplyhealth.

Both organizations are warning that employers need to act now to help prevent their employees from being at serious risk of mental ill-health during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fear of infection and feeling isolated, along with concerns about job or income loss are just some of the knock-on effects from the pandemic that are all likely to increase the pressure and stress people are under.

Managers need to be confident and capable to support people’s mental well-being and prevent stress during this difficult time. However, the Health and Well-being Survey at Work 2020 report, which surveyed 1,018 people professionals representing 4.5 million employees, finds the majority of managers were falling short on this front even before the crisis started.

Only 31 percent of respondents say managers are confident to have sensitive discussions around mental health and signpost staff to expert sources of help if needed; a figure that has barely improved in the last four years despite many more managers being trained to do so.

Similarly, only 25 percent of respondents say that managers are confident and competent to spot the early warning signs of mental ill-health. While managers are not – and should not be expected to be – medical experts, they need to be comfortable having discussions about mental health and recognize they will often be the first port of call when a colleague wants to raise an issue.

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Topics: Employee Relations, #COVID-19

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