Supporting someone with a mental health condition to stay at or return to work has a number of benefits, for both the employee and the business.

Work can play a key role in the person's recovery, helping to:

  • improve their quality of life and wellbeing
  • give structure and routine to day-to-day life
  • contribute to a sense of meaning and purpose
  • promote opportunities for social inclusion and support.

Positives for the business include retaining valuable skills and experience, and avoiding the cost of hiring and training new employees.

Above all, you'll help to create an open, inclusive workplace culture where everyone feels valued and supported. 

 

Developing a plan

Without the support of a manager or supervisor, many people experiencing depression or anxiety find it extremely difficult to stay at work or return to work. Developed collaboratively, a good work plan will benefit both the employee and the employer.

Making reasonable adjustments

Reasonable adjustments are changes to the workplace or person's role to help them stay at or return to work after an absence. These changes can be temporary or permanent, and are required by law so long as the employee can fulfil the core requirements of the job – the elements that can’t be altered. Any adjustments will be unique to the employee’s situation, your workplace and the role, but we’ve got some suggestions to help you plan. 

Barriers to staying at or returning to work

Barriers might be real or perceived, and include issues such as stigma, bullying, or excessive workload or stress levels. As well as addressing practical concerns, raising awareness about mental health and speaking openly can play a key role in breaking down stigma.

 

Barriers can be 

real

or perceived

Tips on providing support

From speaking openly about mental health in the workplace to learning about the recovery process, there are a number of things all managers can do to support someone in their team experiencing a mental health condition.

Supporting a direct report affected by suicide

The stigma associated with suicide can make it hard to talk to colleagues about. 

Managers have a role to play in suicide prevention, as well as in supporting staff who have been bereaved by suicide.