This week, the BBC has been running a series of online articles about mental health and its impact in the workplace.
Yesterday’s featured Gurvinder Singh, a graduate diagnosed with depression while at university.
He recently started his first job as a finance assistant. This could have been a very difficult transition, but importantly, he found that he had the support of his manager.
Here’s what the article said:
Last week Gurvinder built up the courage to speak to his boss about his depression diagnosis.
“There were days that I was coming in late to work. The antidepressants can make you sleep quite a lot and feel weak. So I felt like I had to tell him,” Gurvinder says.
He approached his boss, asked for a word in private, and told him about his diagnosis and what his previous experiences have been with depression.
“He told me that lots of employees within the organisation also have depression and mental health problems. So he was very understanding of it.”
Gurvinder had been worried that he was underperforming at work because sometimes he finds it hard to concentrate. But he found that telling his boss about his mental health took a lot of pressure off.
They told him about a wellbeing service run by the council, made sure Gurvinder knew it was OK to spread his workload out – and, importantly, let him know it was OK to take time off due to mental health.
The manager had exactly the right attitude and knew exactly what to say. What’s more, they’d clearly helped and supported many people in the past, acknowledging how common mental health issues can be.
This doesn’t always come easy, however.
Managers need the time, resources and training to proactively support the wellbeing of their team.
One way of building these important soft skills is through BounceBack’s Mental Health First Aid training.
The two-day course teaches delegates the signs of mental ill health, what to say, and where to refer an employee for further help – just like in the real life example.
If that’s something you’d be interested in learning more about, our latest available courses can be seen here.