The ISO Show: Episode 43 – Managing Mental Health during a pandemic

In these times of uncertainty many organisations are facing concerns over business recovery, however there is another aspect which also needs addressing – managing mental health during these difficult times.

As part of Mental Health Awareness week, this weeks’ Podcast covers the management of psychological issues people are facing such as isolation,  worry and anxiety both now and over the coming year ahead.

These new and emerging psychological risks are not only societal issues but also workplace issues, as increasingly the pressures businesses are facing is also having an impact on employees mental health.

Employers have a fundamental legal imperative of managing the physical and psychological risks in the workplace.  They not only have a legal duty but also a moral duty to help employees get through these difficult times.

How can businesses adapt to the mental health issues we are facing?

  • Provide reassurance that as an employer you are doing as much as possible for the  safe return to work i.e. Risk Assessment, providing protective equipment.
  • Engage more closely with employees about their protection and welfare.
  • Proactively communicate on a regular basis, including clear communications on government guidance.
  • Review work demands and how this can be best managed from a mental health aspect i.e. Employee’s overworked/underworked.
  • Review health/psychological status for the safe return to work i.e. age, underlying health issues and mental health conditions.
  • Employers should be starting to plan the smooth transition from current to post pandemic/post lockdown.

However, we can’t just focus on the short term we need to aim to reduce fear and anxieties for the times ahead.  Businesses need to look to the future, and manage peoples expectation for the mid to long term i.e. 6 – 12/18 months’ time. 

Business leaders need to be realistic about a potential recession and start to plan for how work is likely to be delivered over the next 12 months.  It is likely that there will  be extra pressures to ‘make up’ productivity and output.  However, although we need to bolster the economy and return to increased productivity, we also need to accept that client expectations need to be managed proactively, and mental health issues managed carefully to ensure we have a resilient workforces for the future. 

Suffice to say,  it is likely to be a case of continuing to adapt over the coming 12 months, rather than attempt a full return to pre-pandemic standards.

Clare, ends on highlighting in the podcast that we should take this opportunity to embrace a ‘new normal’ as an opportunity to reflect on lessons learned, which could results in employees being more productive and less stressed post-pandemic.

You can contact Clare at Clare.forshaw@parkhs.co.uk or by calling 01296 310450

To find out more about Park Health and Safety, visit their website HERE.

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The ISO Show: Episode 43 – Managing Mental Health during a pandemic

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