For Employers

How to Provide Support

Once you’ve opened up a dialogue with your employee about their mental health, the priority is to develop positive steps to address the key issues they’re struggling with. Clear policies and guidelines on workplace adjustments are crucial to support workers to cope and recover.

Adapt your support to suit the individual and involve people as much as possible in finding solutions to any work-related difficulties they’re experiencing.

Below are some strategies to consider:

  • Changes to how people perform their role
  • Flexible hours or change to start/finish time.
  • Change of workspace – e.g. quieter, more/less busy.
  • Changes to break times.
  • Agreement to give an employee leave at short notice and time off for appointments related to their mental health, such as for therapy.
  • Changes to the role itself (temporary or permanent)
  • Re-allocation of some tasks or changes to people’s job description and duties.
  • Re-deployment to a more suitable role.
  • Training and support to apply for vacancies and secondments in other positions/job sites.
  • Extra support.
  • Increased supervision or support from manager. For example, some people can take on too much so may need their manager to monitor their workload to prevent this and ensure they’re working sensible hours (but be careful to not micro-manage).
  • Extra training, coaching or mentoring.
  • Extra help with managing and negotiating workload.
  • More positive and constructive feedback.
  • Weekly catch-ups to prioritise workload.
  • Mentor or ‘buddy’ systems (formal or informal).
  • Mediation if there are difficulties between colleagues.
  • Identifying a quiet space in the workplace or job site where the person can have some time out, contact their buddy or other sources of support and access self-help.
  • Provide regular opportunities to discuss, review and reflect on their positive achievements – this can help their to build up self-esteem and develop skills to better manage stress.
  • Provision of self-help information, and encouragement to do things that support good mental health such as physical activity, eating well, laying of booze and drugs, and maintaining social connections.
  • Pointing them to professional help, such as family doctor, EAP provider, or therapist.

I figured something was up with him, but I didn’t know the signs to look for or how to bring it up. One day, he didn’t show up for work and it was a punch to the gut when I heard that he took his life. I’ll never let that happen again. I know the signs now and guys know that I’m in their corner if they ever need me. I’m not afraid to speak up anymore."

Jas, Framer