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Workplace Mental Health for Managers

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Carla Barton

on 9 August 2016

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Transcript of Workplace Mental Health for Managers

Workplace Mental Health for Managers: A Solution-focused approach to assisting employees
The Four Quadrant Model of Mental Health
What Discourages Employees From Seeking Help?
Employees Feel Safe to Disclose When:
Facts About Workplace Mental Health
Workplace Mental Health


4 Quadrant Model of Mental Health
Facts About Mental Health in the Workplace
Factors Affecting Disclosure
Performance Warning Signs
What Managers can do to Support Employee Success
References and Resources
They are assured that the information will remain confidential

They feel that their employers are prepared to accommodate them and support their needs

They believe that any harassment or bullying arising from said disclosure will not be tolerated within the organization
What Can Managers do to Support Employee Success ?
Ask the question
Take action by asking the question: What does your employee need in order to be successful at their job?
Use open-ended questions to encourage dialogue
Failing to ask or take action can :
Result in an employee not getting the help or support they need and their condition worsening.
A strained relationship between the employee and management
Strained relationships amongst colleagues who may take on the additional tasks of the employee who is struggling.
Safety risks
Increased absenteeism
The potential loss of a skilled worker
Privacy and Confidentiality
Don't probe or try and diagnose a mental health problem
Approach the issue as a workplace performance concern
Treat mental health problems with the same respect for privacy as other medical issues
Ask your employee how they want to handle questions related to their problem and/or accommodations
Set a time to meet again and review performance
Document all meetings you have with the employee

Support Employees in Returning to Work
Work/life conflicts are associated with greater perceived stress, depressed mood, burnout, poorer physical health, increased doctor's visits and absenteeism.

Workplace mental health problems get brought home and become family and societal problems.

To Encourage a Work/life Balance Employers can:
Encourage the use of the EFAP Program which is not just
for employees but also their families.
Find ways to reduce employee workloads
Make alternative work arrangements
Reduce job related travel
Reward paid and unpaid overtime
Work Related Accommodations

In order to provide suitable accommodation to an employee you need to know:
1) If there are functional limitations that prevent he or she from carrying out their duties effectively, and, if so:
2)What type of accommodation could enable this person to continue to working?

Accommodations can include:
Flexible scheduling
Restructuring of tasks
Changes to interpersonal communication
Using technology
Modifying workspace or changing location
Modifications to time pressures and multiple tasks

Lack of services
Self-medicating behaviours
They may not know who they should talk to
Lack of insight into having a mental health problem
By 2020 depression will be the 2nd leading cause of long term disability

Depression and anxiety are the most common disorders in the Canadian population (and workforce).

Psychiatric claims are the fastest growing category of health care claims

The good news is: research has indicated that with help, 70-80% of people improve
Barriers to Positive Mental Health
Increased mental health literacy/awareness

An awareness of workplace stressors and how they might be alleviated or lessened

Supportive work environments that serve as a protective factors against employee stress
What Contributes to
Positive Mental Health in the Workplace?
In low doses stress can be motivating, but it can also be a trigger for physical or mental health conditions

Social isolation is related to poor mental health

Stigma and discrimination are linked
to poorer mental health outcomes
Factors Affecting Disclosure
Encourage Work/Life Balance
Performance Warning Signs
Constant late arrivals or frequent absences
Lack of cooperation or general inability to work with others
Increased accidents or safety problems
Frequent complaints of tiredness or unexplained pains
Difficulties concentration, making decisions or remembering things
Making excuses for missed deadlines or poor work
Less interest or involvement in work
Displays of anger or defensiveness
Working excessive overtime
Toward a Solution
At an Organizational Level
Organization Responses
Build Employee Resilience
Employees with low resilience are more likely to exhibit mental health problems, higher turnover, more absences and less productivity

Resilience can be increased through training and education that emphasizes employee strengths, helps them manage stress, enhances problem solving skills, and improves coping and conflict resolution skills.
Create a Respectful Workplace
This is a workplace where employees treat each other with respect, consideration and tolerance. Diversity is recognized and discrimination and disrespectful behaviours are not tolerated.

Respectful workplaces improve employee morale, job satisfaction, teamwork, employee-manager relationships, absenteeism and turnover.
Enhance Mental Health Knowledge
Knowledge of mental health problems combats stigma and increases awareness of self-care options and available supportive resources.

Mental health literacy programs promote acceptance of mental health problems. They also increase the capacity for those affected to return to work.

Consider Prevention
: Individual and organizational measures that reduce the likelihood that a mental health problem will occur (eg. stress management training, supporting work/life balance).

Addressing problems when they are at a mild or early stage to prevent worsening (eg. providing self care tools to manage stress or managerial training to respond to issues).

Reducing the level of stress associated with a mental health problem (eg. access to EAP, accommodations and return to work plans).
Support Staying at Work
Having a job is recovery focused and workplace relationships can be important sources of social support.

As best case scenario may be one where an individual is able to remain in the workplace through the use of a suitable accommodation or by addressing barriers to positive mental health.
References and Resources

Arnold, I., & Arnold, S. (2014) Supporting employee success: A tool to plan accommodations that support success at work. Retrieved May 14, 2015, from: http://www.workplacestrategiesformentalhealth.com

Canadian Mental Health Association (2015) Workplace mental health promotion: A how to guide. Retrieved May 15, 2015, from: http://wmhp.cmhaontario.ca

Canadian Mental Health Association (2015) Managing mental health in the workplace: how to talk to employees, deal with problems and assess risks. Retrieved June 1, 2015, from: http://www.mentalhealthworks.ca

Gilbert, M., & Bilsker, D. (2012). Psychological health & safety an action guide for employers. Retrieved June 10, 2015, from http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/issues/workplace/national-standard

Mood Disorders Society of Canada (2014). Workplace mental health: how employers can create mentally healthy workplaces and support employees in their recovery from mental illness. Retrived May 15,2015, from: http://www.mooddisorderscanada.ca

How Can You Help?
Find out what resources are available that you can offer your employee (EFAP or other services).

Become familiar with Eastern Health's accommodations policies (information about accommodation policies can be accessed through the HR dept).

Familiarize yourself with Eastern Health's 'Harassment' and 'Conflict Resolution' policies.

Consider how the employee's job could be modified in order to allow them to continue working while getting the support they need (employment supports recovery).

Use your managerial skills to help the person feel safe and comfortable when you meet with them - focus on minimizing stress rather than contributing to it. Be honest, caring and professional

Emphasis employee strengths and assets
Future Considerations
Workplace Mental Health Webinars could be expanded to include:
Workplace Mental Health for Managers Levels I, II and III with selected topics in:
Substance Abuse in the Workplace
Assisting Employees in Managing Emotions
Three fundamentals should be in place to promote a successful return to work:

1. The work itself and the employee's presence in the workplace should not pose a risk to the employee or other workers.

2. The employee should be able to perform their role and duties at a level where meaningful work is possible with appropriate accommodations:

Ask the employee what the need in order to do their job. They will know better than anyone.
Set appropriate goals along the way

3. The workplace should be welcoming and free of harassment. Lead by example with respect to not engaging in attitudes, conversations or behaviour that perpetuate stigma.

Resources for Assisting Managers and
Eastern Health has a 'Healthy Workplace Plan' that aims to support a respectful work environment for all employees.

There is a 'Conflict Management Policy' and Conflict Management training that can be offered to managers and employees through the HR dept.

EH as a 'Prevention and Resolution of Harassment in the Workplace' policy.

HR and EFAP offer team building sessions.

Mental Health First Aid and the Working Mind Program are opportunities for enhancing mental health literacy that managers can avail of.

Eastern Health Specific Resources
Organizational training opportunities, policies and resources for managers can be accessed by contacting Leslie O'Keefe HR Dept.

Resources for mental health can be accessed by contacting Carla Barton, Mental Health and Addictions Prevention and Promotion Program.

Resources for addictions can be accessed by contacting Wayne Bishop, Mental Health and Addictions Prevention and Promotion Program
Full transcript