How to spot mental health issues in your team (and what to do about it).

How to spot mental health issues in your team (and what to do about it).

Team wellbeing is a complex yet central part of what allows a business to succeed – and as a responsible employer, it’s also something that every business should take very seriously. But in this article, we wanted to focus on why spotting and supporting staff’s mental health is critical, even from a commercial perspective…albeit many of the tips will be relevant for both.

Mental health can be the key differentiator between a team that enjoys their work and uplifts the entire workplace, and unspoken barriers suddenly appearing between your team and their goals.

Leaders in the workplace have a responsibility to prioritise mental health…

and create an environment in which people feel supported and included, not only when everything is running well, but especially when there is difficulty.

Navigating mental health can be hard even for the individual experiencing a difficult time. This makes it crucial for those in positions of leadership to be able to spot when a member of their team might be going through a rough patch and have the necessary skills to alleviate their struggle as much as possible. While no two cases are ever the same, here are a few general signs that a member of your team might need your support.

Their behaviour has suddenly made a drastic change.

One of the most significant indicators of mental health issues in your team is changes in behaviour. If a team member’s personality seems to change – they don’t engage with the rest of the team the way they used to, have become withdrawn or exhibits unusual behaviour – it may be a sign that they are struggling with something you can’t see. Experts note other changes in behaviour that you may notice include a decline in personal hygiene or eating habits, sudden mood swings, and increased absences from work.

Physical symptoms of mental health problems.

Physical symptoms are often not clear when it comes to mental health. However, there are some visible symptoms that can help you identify mental health issues in your team. Chronic pain is common amongst people struggling with their mental health. If a team member frequently complains of headaches, stomach-aches, or other physical ailments, it may be a sign of stress or anxiety. Similarly, chronic fatigue might point to insomnia, which can affect people with depression and anxiety.

Isolation.

Isolation is another common sign that a team member may be struggling with mental health issues. If a team member who would normally engage with the social aspects of work is now withdrawing from social interactions with their colleagues, avoiding team meetings, or declining invitations to social events, it may be a sign that they are experiencing mental health issues. Although remember- it’s about change not personality!

Disconnecting from their work.

When things get tough, work is often one of the first things people disengage from. While a decline in results might make it seem like a member of your team is simply not working enough, performance can be an indication of mental health issues. If a team member is consistently missing deadlines, producing lower quality work, or making more mistakes than usual, it may be a sign that they are struggling with mental health issues and lack the capacity to engage with their work the way they did before.

Of course, this is only the peak of the iceberg when it comes to mental health, but there is a lot you can do to help your team!

Create a supportive environment.

As a manager or team leader, it is essential to create a supportive and inclusive work environment that prioritises the mental health of your team members. You can achieve this by promoting open communication, being empathetic, and fostering a positive work culture that emphasises wellbeing.

Educate yourself and your team.

Educating yourself and your team on mental health issues can help reduce stigma and promote a culture of understanding and empathy. Encourage your team members to learn about mental health issues and the resources available to them.

Offer support and resources.

Make sure that your team members are aware of the mental health resources available to them, such as employee assistance programs, counselling services, and mental health hotlines. If a team member is struggling with mental health issues, offer them support and encourage them to seek help.

Be empathetic and supportive.

If you notice that a team member is struggling with mental health issues, it is essential to be empathetic and supportive. Listen to their concerns, offer practical solutions, and provide reassurance that they are not alone. Encourage them to take time off work if necessary and make accommodations to support their mental health needs.

Seek professional help.

If you suspect that a team member is struggling with mental health issues, it may be necessary to seek professional help. Encourage them to speak to their healthcare provider, connect them with mental health professionals, or offer to provide them with resources to get the help they need.

In summary…

Mental health issues can have a significant impact on your team’s productivity, morale, and overall well-being. As a manager or team leader, it is essential to be aware of the signs of mental health issues in your team and to take proactive steps to address them. The culture you create around you and the example you set to people in your team can make a huge difference in the way anyone experiencing mental health difficulties feels at work, and by extension, in their lives throughout that time.

 

Written by Arantza Asali, Marketing Executive.

Click here to email Arantza, or click here to meet the rest of the team.

 

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