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Top tips for line managers

As recently brought to global attention by Princes William and Harry and Lady Gaga, being able to talk about your mental health is extremely important.

Our line managers have a crucial role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of their staff. From communication to clarity of job role, line managers can influence the success of a team.

In the latest in our series of features on managing stress in the workplace, we provide some tips for managers to help you identify whether your staff are feeling stressed and to understand the important role you can play in helping them to tackle this.

Pocket-sized z-cards are being issued over the next few weeks to managers throughout the organisation as a handy reminder.

In the meantime, here is an ‘at-a-glance’ guide to the top tips for managers in tackling stress.

The first sign someone may have depression or a problem with their mental health is often in changes in their day t...

Eyes open

The first sign someone may have depression or a problem with their mental health is often in changes in their day to day to behaviour.  This could be not being able to cope with work, a sudden loss in motivation or absenteeism.  These signs are a potential warning that someone may be suffering from depression.

We all have our ups and downs, so a change in behaviour doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem. If you do noti...

Assumptions

We all have our ups and downs, so a change in behaviour doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem. If you do notice inconsistent behaviour, try to establish whether it’s just a blip, or perhaps the signs of a more serious problem. 

It’s rare for someone to voluntarily talk about a mental health problem. Approaching a colleague who you feel may b...

Root of problem

It’s rare for someone to voluntarily talk about a mental health problem. Approaching a colleague who you feel may be suffering from a mental health issue is not easy. Try to arrange a moment to catch someone privately, and informally ask if they are feeling OK. 

Depression or anxiety can sometimes be caused by a work issue or a personal one. Act accordingly when you establish...

Can you help

Depression or anxiety can sometimes be caused by a work issue or a personal one. Act accordingly when you establish what the cause of the problem is. If it is work related, you have the responsibility to help remedy it. If it’s a domestic issue, think about the changes you can implement to make things easier, such as flexible working. If they have not already found support, point them towards help from their GP or our in-house employee counselling. This is a free and confidential service based in the occupational health department at the West Glasgow Ambulatory Care Hospital (Yorkhill). Both face-to-face and telephone appointments are available. They can be contacted on 0141 201 0600. 

We need to have a culture where individuals feel comfortable to disclose their mental health condition to their man...

OPen culture

We need to have a culture where individuals feel comfortable to disclose their mental health condition to their manager if they want. The aim should be to create a working environment that eradicates the stigma of mental health. Making sure staff are aware of policies and procedures will help them feel able to talk about the topic. Our Mental Health and Wellbeing policy guidance document can be viewed on the new HRConnect portal. This is supported by the relevant rules, practices and guidance within existing policies including: policy on Stress in the Workplace, Supporting the Work Life Balance (Family Friendly policies) and Dignity at Work policy.

It is important to take steps to reduce the stigma of mental health problems by raising awareness of the issues. Us...

Raise awareness

It is important to take steps to reduce the stigma of mental health problems by raising awareness of the issues. Useful resources are available via the HRConnect portal. These include immediate help, employee counselling, money worries, iMatter, Mind, Ahead for Health DVD and Resilience Toolkit.

A policy will only work if lived out in practice so be aware that your behaviour can set the tone for the rest of y...

Walk the talk

A policy will only work if lived out in practice so be aware that your behaviour can set the tone for the rest of your team. Make sure you take a lunch break, don’t work long hours and use up your annual leave. Evidence also suggests that exercise, a balanced diet and a healthy work/life balance can help treat mild depression, so encourage staff to take part in any activestaff activities on offer.

We promote the use of health and safety risk assessments to support staff who are experiencing stress. This can be ...

Stress assessment

We promote the use of health and safety risk assessments to support staff who are experiencing stress. This can be done using the individual risk assessment found in the Stress in the Workplace policy, found on the website. 

Training for managers is being delivered on a specific directorate basis. Managers should liaise with their HR mana...

Tackling MH

Training for managers is being delivered on a specific directorate basis. Managers should liaise with their HR manager to undertake this training. This should be linked with use of the departmental Health and Safety Executive stress risk assessment tool.