Considering that one in four Australians suffer from depression at some point in their lives it is quite likely that one of your staff will be affected by depression whilst under your management. Whilst speaking out about mental health is possibly becoming less taboo, it can still be daunting for an employee to reach out to management to discuss their situation before the symptoms of depression affect their work.
Instead of having a reactive system where an employee either speaks out to you about their mental health situation, or you notice a dip in their performance, it’s worth proactively understanding depression and its effects on your employees and the wider workforce.
To provide the support an employee needs to actively recover, a strategy of ongoing managerial mental health training, as well as programs to allow for accommodating those who may be suffering from a mental health issue, need to be in place. Initiatives must support both those suffering (providing flexible hours, offering positive feedback) and those who are managing (onsite training, access to further resources and referrals to professionals).
Top employers will have engaged an EAP provider which is a deep resource on which to rely, for both referring those who may be going through a mental health episode, or for managers who would like to understand better how to sympathetically and practically lead someone who may be suffering.
Supporting mental wellbeing is a core pillar for the BeneFit3 team - please reach out if you need ideas on how to create meaningful programs to support your staff in this space.