Supporting employee mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic
The uncertainty of the last 12-months has unquestionably led to a more stressful and anxious time for people, families and businesses.
Issues like social isolation, loss of coping mechanisms, job and housing insecurity, and the sudden loss of loved ones have all combined to affect mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.
The stark impact of Covid-19 on mental health
A survey by UK mental health charity Mind in June 2020 revealed that 60% of UK adults believe the pandemic and lockdown restrictions had a negative impact on their mental health.
Research by Co-op Funeralcare in March 2021 revealed that eight million people in the UK experienced the sudden death of the loved one in the last 12-months.
At the time of writing, the UK is on the road to ending lockdown restrictions and there is a sense of renewed optimism that life will slowly get back to some normality through the vaccine programme.
However, with many staff continuing to work from home, returning to work after being on furlough, or dealing with the uncertainty of possible redundancy and workplace restructuring, it is vital businesses of all shapes and sizes make extra efforts to continue looking out for the mental wellbeing of their employees.
Where to get practical advice on supporting employees through the pandemic
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has published a guide on COVID-related mental health problems which contains practical advice on how to tackle them.
The guide is likely to be particularly helpful to small and medium-sized companies who do not have dedicated HR staff. It includes advice on prevention and early intervention to tackle stress and anxiety related mental health issues experienced by employees.
The guide also looks at issues such as working from home, returning to work after being on furlough, and possible redundancies, with advice on how business can manage these responsibly.
Given that mental health at work was an area of concern for many even before the pandemic, this guide should be of use to many businesses.