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Mental Health in the Workplace – Prevention and Early Intervention

Knowing how to prevent mental health problems in the workplace is an important skill for any employer and can be made even more difficult when employees are working from home, part or all of the time. Knowing the symptoms and being able to step in early to try and solve any potential issues will help foster a greater sense of wellbeing within your workplace.

Prevention and Early Intervention

Some of the costs associated with poor mental health at work occur because undetected problems are left unchecked and spiral into a crisis. Good communication and people management skills go a long way to preventing stress and poor mental health among employees –

  • Induction – a good induction programme is important for all new, promoted or redeployed employees, as starting a new role can be a stressful and unsettling experience.
  • Line Management – how people are treated and managed on a day-to-day basis is central to their
  • mental well-being and engagement, as well as the level of trust in the employment relationship.

Spotting the Signs

Spotting the signs of stress or poor mental health in the workplace at an early stage means managers can hopefully nip problems in the bud before they escalate into a crisis or sickness absence. A key part of spotting the signs is managers being alert to the potential workplace and external/personal triggers for distress.

Mental Health in the Workplace triggers and indicators

  • People working long hours and not taking breaks
  • Unrealistic expectations or deadlines
  • High-pressure environments
  • Unmanageable workloads or lack of control over work
  • Negative relationships or poor communication
  • An unsupportive workplace culture or lack of management support
  • Job insecurity or poor change management
  • High-risk roles
  • Lone working

External/Personal Triggers and indicators

  • Changes in the person’s usual behaviour, mood or how they interact with colleagues
  • Changes in the standard of their work or focus on tasks
  • Appearing tired, anxious or withdrawn and reduced interest in tasks they previously enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite and/or increase in smoking and drinking alcohol
  • An increase in sickness absences and/or turning up late to work

Do you need any help in writing or reviewing your employee welfare, mental health and stress risk assessment?  Please contact Armour Risk Consulting for a free consultation at or on 0131 516 1767

Our content is correct at the date of publishing, but should not be taken as legal advice, and our articles don’t replace Risk Assessments. Armour will not be held accountable for any legal actions the reader may take.