For Employers

What to Watch Out For

Employers who know their staff and hold catch-ups or supervision meetings to monitor work and well-being are well placed to spot signs of stress or poor mental health at an early stage. Often the key is a change in typical behaviour. Signs and symptoms will vary, as each person’s experience of poor mental health is different, but there are some common indicators to look out for.

Below offers some useful pointers. It’s important to keep in mind that if one or more of these signs is observed, it doesn’t automatically mean the employee has a mental health problem – it could be a sign of another health issue or something else entirely.

Always take care not to make assumptions or listen to third party gossip, and instead talk to the person directly.

  • Physical
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach complaints
  • Headaches
  • Appetite/Weight changes
  • Back or neck pains
  • Sleep problems
  • Visible tension/agitation
  • Nervous/trembling speech
  • Chest pains
  • Sweating
  • Psychological
  • Stressed
  • Tearful
  • Sad or low mood
  • Abrupt mood changes
  • Indecisiveness
  • Loss of motivation
  • Loss of humour
  • Feeling there is no purpose to life
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Distracted or confused
  • Illogical or irrational thoughts
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Pessimistic
  • Social
  • Increased drinking
  • Drug use
  • Seems withdrawn
  • Irritable, angry, or aggressive
  • Restlessness
  • Lateness
  • Increasing absences
  • Inconsistent performance
  • Uncharacteristic errors
  • Problems with colleagues
  • Over-reaction to problems
  • Risk-taking
  • Disruptive behaviour