Look out for mental health of colleagues

Advice has been offered on how to look out for the mental health of staff.
Advice has been offered on how to look out for the mental health of staff.

This winter, bosses and employees in West Lothian are being urged to look out for the mental health of other colleagues.

Despite one in four Scots experiencing common mental health problems, in many workplaces it remains a taboo topic. The Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) and See Me have teamed up to offer advice on how business owners and managers can look out for their staff over the festive period.

Eamonn Keane, head of Cyber and Innovation at SBRC, said: “Given the workplace is where the majority of us spend a great deal of our time, it should be a supportive environment where people look after one another. In cyber and digital we regularly use the expression ‘people, process and technology’ in improving our position. However, it’s the people who are the very heart of everything we do.

“Employee wellbeing is a key element of overall business resilience. For an employer, creating a healthy working environment can be important in ensuring a productive and effective organisation. So, while these tips will help staff, they also impact across the business to make it a much safer environment for everyone.”

Wendy Halliday, interim director at See Me, said: “There’s a significant problem with people in Scotland not being able to speak openly about their mental health in the workplace, which can lead to people feeling like they’ve nowhere to go if they’re struggling. It’s really important that in all areas of our lives we’re able to say we’re not ok – especially in work.”

See Me encourages workplaces to have three key things in place to help tackle stigma and create mentally healthy cultures: Leadership role models; Good internal communication; and Line management. Wendy added: “If you’re worried about someone, you can help by asking if they’re ok and showing you care.

“The fact that a tenth of people wouldn’t recommend someone for a job if they had a mental health problem shows the need for more education on mental health in work.”