Posted by Johann Nacario — May 26, 2023 — According to new mental health statistics, during 2020, 58% of workers in the U.K. experienced some kind of work-related stress, while 63% were experiencing moderate levels of anxiety. Health experts have warned that if these mental health issues are left untreated, it can impact our day-to-day lives, including the ability to do our jobs.
That’s why the team of mental health experts at Delamere has shared five ways to open up the conversation about mental health with your employer, listed below.
1. Find the right time and place to talk
When approaching the conversation of mental health with your employer, one thing that will help is finding the right time to talk. Taking to your boss on a day when they seem overwhelmed might result in you not getting the best response, so make sure to schedule a call or an in-person conversation with them ahead of time.
As well as the right time, it’s also important to find an appropriate place to have the conversation. Find a place that will allow you to talk in a professional and calm way, and is a quiet space in your workplace. If somewhere suitable isn’t available, you could also suggest meeting outside the office or even going for a walk.
2. Plan what you are going to say ahead of your meeting
Before speaking to your manager, one of the best ways you can prepare is by planning what you want to discuss ahead of time. This will not only calm any nerves you might be having ahead of the conversation but will also ensure that you are only sharing what is needed to frame how your mental health is impacting your work.
Points you can prepare in advance could include: identifying tasks within your current role and workload that is making you stressed; reminding your boss of your achievements so that they remember you are more than capable; and explaining what factors might need to change in order to help you.
3. Decide who to speak to
If you decide to open up to your employer about your mental health, consider who you will feel most comfortable having the conversation with.
If you have a good relationship with one of your managers, it might be helpful talking to them about what you are going through. However, if you find that they aren’t very approachable, consider speaking to someone within your Human Resources (HR) Department that will be able to help you.
4. Consider that your boss may be more receptive than you think
Though talking about your mental health with your employer may feel like an uncomfortable situation, they may actually be more understanding than you anticipate them to be.
Mental health is a very common illness that a lot of people, unfortunately, suffer from in the workplace. So when you start the conversation, the chances are your boss or employer will have already had direct experience with dealing with it or even experienced it themselves.
5. Focus on your productivity and ability to work
To get the most out of your conversation with your employer, think beforehand about how your mental health is impacting your productivity and ability to work.
If you go into the meeting with this already prepared, the chances are you will have greater success coming up with solutions on how your employer can support you and what you need to get better, whether it’s more flexible working hours or a lighter workload.
For more information on mental health in the workplace, see Delamere’s 2023 Wellness & Quality of Life Report.