What to do if you are struggling with your mental health
Asking for support is not only brave, but also vital for your well-being, and helps your employer understand how to support you and any colleagues who may be going through something similar. There are many types of mental health issues, and they can include stress, depression, and anxiety through to less common conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Your employer has a ‘duty of care’ to ensure that they are doing everything they reasonably can to support your health, safety, and wellbeing. This may include adjusting your work activities or hours, giving you access to resources and services that will support you, writing a Wellness Action Plan, regular check-ins to see how you are feeling and seeing if any reasonable adjustments can be made to support you in your work through an Occupational Health Assessment.
It is advisable to speak to your line manager in the first instance by arranging a 1-2-1 meeting with them, but if you can not get in touch with them or would prefer to seek advice elsewhere, you can always get in touch with your HR team, your GP, or if you have one, your mental health first aider. You can also get in touch with your apprenticeship mentor/coach or your apprenticeship safeguarding officer, as they have a duty of care to ensure you feel safe in your working environment. It may help if you have some notes prepared beforehand of what you would like to say.
It is important that you feel comfortable to talk about your mental health with your employer because your mental health is just as important as your physical health – and you should not suffer in silence.
Here are some useful links for supporting you with your mental health in the workplace:
Here is a great resource from MIND around how to approach your manager, what counts as reasonable adjustments, and how to write a Wellness Action Plan:
How to be mentally healthy at work | Mind
What is occupational health support?
Using occupational health at work - Acas
NHS Depression and Anxiety Self-Assessment:
Depression and anxiety self-assessment quiz - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Your Mental Health Legal rights:
Mental health and the law - NHS (www.nhs.uk)