What to do if someone becomes unwell

Top tips on supporting your staff

Identifying early signs of distress

The main thing to look for is changes in behaviour. This could be the way they perform at work, the way they look, or the way they behave.

Talking at an early stage

If you notice any changes use your usual management procedures to identify what may be the cause. 
Use open questions such as ‘how are you doing at the moment?’ If you have specific concerns, such as performance, it is important to talk about these at an early stage. Chats should be positive and supportive, exploring issues and how you can help, and be in a private setting. If someone gets upset, stay calm and reassure them it’s ok to be upset.

Sickness absence – keeping in touch

It is essential to keep in touch if someone is off work to prevent miscommunication and barriers to returning. The longer someone is off the harder it is for them to return. Agree the best contact person and suggest a time when they will contact them next. This could be by email, phone, or in person. At the end of each contact, agree the next one.

Returning to work and reasonable adjustments

  • Effective management will increase the chance of a successful return.
  • Is there anything that would make the return easier? 
  • Comply with the Equality Act by considering and applying ‘reasonable adjustments’.
  • Consider phased return, reduced activities, change to shift patterns or working hours, review the physical environment etc.
  • Discuss the options available and identify ones that might work.
  • Be honest with things you can’t change.

Managing an ongoing illness

Don’t make assumptions about people’s capabilities, their potential for promotion or the amount of sick leave they are likely to need on the basis of their condition. Everyone is different and many people living with mental health conditions will need no support from their employers.

If time off is taken, or if adjustments are made, agree with the employee what they want others to be told. Watch out for hostile reactions – stamp out hurtful gossip or discriminatory language.

What to say to other members of staff | Working For Health

Advance statements

If people have a long term mental health condition, they are the best person to let you know how and when they want to be supported. Some people will have an Advance Statement (or you could help them to draw one up) which will help you to identify signs, who to contact in an emergency, and what support is helpful and what is not. This can help you to make the right decisions if you ever need to.

Professional mental health support

Mental health problems are common with 1 in 4 of us having a mild to moderate condition at some point in our lives. For many people care and support is provided by their own GP but specialist mental health support is also available.

If someone is in crisis and you are concerned about their safety, you can contact the Rapid Response Service in Hull and East Riding on 01482 301701

We’re here to help. Call 01482 464921

 

to see how we can get you back to work.

or send an email to

hello@workingforhealth.co.uk

We’re here to help. Call 01482 464921

 

to see how we can get you back to work.

or send an email to

hello@workingforhealth.co.uk

Other ways

we can help

Support for employers

We can help you with employees with mental health conditions

Contact us

Find all the different ways you can get in touch with us.

Support for employers

We can help you with employees with mental health conditions

Contact us

Find all the different ways you can get in touch with us

Call us (we’re open 9am - 5pm weekdays)

01482 464921

We provide information and support to anyone with a mental health problem, their carers, families and friends.

Working for Health

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