Managing Mental Health and Wellness Concerns
* Last Updated 14 April 2020
Supporting employees with mental health and wellbeing has been an increasing concern for employers over recent years. However, the Covid-19 crisis has had a huge impact on every single one of us – in the form of varying degrees of increased stress, anxiety and financial worries. In addition, those with mental health problems and/or addiction issues may be finding themselves struggling with these pre-existing problems given the added pressures and uncertainties of the Covid-19 environment.
Fortunately, the government has recognised the scale of this issue and has allocated additional funding to mental health support and wellbeing initiatives.
If you or one of your team feel that you’re not coping, you can call or text 1737 – free, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – to talk with a trained counsellor.
Visit the mental health section of the Covid-19 website for more information https://covid19.govt.nz/individuals-and-households/health-and-wellbeing/looking-after-your-mental-wellbeing/
The Covid-19 crisis may also lead to increased financial distress and worry, addiction issues or family violence. For these issues specifically:
- https://sorted.org.nz/ has a range of financial tools, resources and information or for personalised support contact MoneyTalks on 0800 345 123 email@example.com, or text 4029
- Alcohol Drug Helpline – 0800 787 797 or text 8681 for a free and confidential chat with a trained counsellor, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Family Violence Information Line – 0800 456 450 for information as well as services in your own region. The phoneline operates 9am – 11pm every day of the year
Finally, we recommend all employers consider implementing a Mental Health and Wellness Programme. This doesn’t need to be a costly exercise. Make a start with a policy and a set of guidelines that assist in building a workplace that supports mental health and wellbeing by:
- Increasing employee knowledge and awareness of mental health and wellbeing issues
- Linking managers to practical resources to support them in working through problems that arise due to a mental health issue with one of their team members
- Providing a list of support agencies and their contact details that managers can refer to when someone presents with a mental health problem
- Outlining the considerations and providing a plan for return-to-work after time off due to a mental health problem
- Setting the expectation that all employees and managers will normalise the conversation and reduce stigma around mental health problems in the workplace
Positive People can help you to write your own mental health and wellness policy and guidelines, build a programme or support you in working through individual employee problems and concerns. Email us firstname.lastname@example.org or call 09 445 1077.