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Coping with Stress in Today’s Uncertain Climate. Simon Chilton Occupational Mental Health Advisor. Key Messages. Employees have a crucial role to play in enabling employers to provide appropriate support at the earliest opportunity

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coping with stress in today s uncertain climate

Coping with Stress in Today’s Uncertain Climate

Simon Chilton

Occupational Mental Health Advisor

Simon Chilton - Occupational Mental Health Advisor

key messages
Key Messages
  • Employees have a crucial role to play in enabling employers to provide appropriate support at the earliest opportunity
  • Low levels or a lack of communication can help to reinforce the symptoms of stress, or associated illnesses such as anxiety and depression
  • Best practice in supporting employees with these sorts of conditions is very much aligned with current therapeutic approaches

Simon Chilton - Occupational Mental Health Advisor

promoted by
Promoted by

Health & Safety Executive

ACAS

Department for Work & Pensions

NHS

CIPD

Mind

Centre for Mental Health (formerly Sainsbury)

The majority of Sickness Absence Policies

Simon Chilton - Occupational Mental Health Advisor

costs of stress to employers
Costs of Stress to Employers
  • Self-reported work related stress, depression or anxiety accounts for an estimated 12.8 million lost working days per year in Britain (HSE)
  • After musculoskeletal disorders, stress is by far the largest contributor to the number of days lost as a result of work related health in the UK
  • Stress is, on average the costliest of all work related illnesses in terms of days lost per case

Simon Chilton - Occupational Mental Health Advisor

hse defines stress as
HSE Defines Stress as:

“Adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed upon them…”

ACAS

‘Stress is often a symptom of poor employment relations and can seriously affect productivity. Organisations who talk regularly with their employees and have sound systems and procedures in place for dealing with issues like absence and discipline are much more likely to avoid work-related stress and to be able to deal with potentially stressful situations when they arise.’

Simon Chilton - Occupational Mental Health Advisor

barriers to communication
Barriers to Communication
  • Manager feeling that contact would be detrimental to the person’s condition (in some cases this may be the case)
  • A belief that because the person is signed off by their GP, contact is not allowed
  • The employee refuses contact
  • Management concerns regarding potential accusations of bullying and/or harassment
  • Management anxieties regarding what to say
  • Management believing that they do not have the skills/knowledge to communicate effectively with the employee
  • Management using OH as the “middle man” in the conversation

Simon Chilton - Occupational Mental Health Advisor

potential impact of low levels of communication
Potential Impact of Low levels of Communication
  • Employee feeling increasingly isolated
  • Employees negative thoughts about the situation are not challenged or corrected
  • Employee’s anxieties regarding work are exacerbated
  • Management feel frustrated/ powerless
  • Attempts to resolve work issues are delayed until employee returns, potentially resulting in those problems becoming more complex and entrenched
  • Employee returns to work, but is still unhappy, increasing the risk of further stress related absence

Simon Chilton - Occupational Mental Health Advisor

advantages to maintaining communication
Advantages to maintaining Communication
  • Work issues can be resolved more quickly, while they are potentially less complex
  • Employees can be made to feel empowered and more in control
  • Keeping work on the agenda (especially while employees are absent) can help to keep anxieties at a more manageable level
  • Employee can be given the opportunity to “test out” their ability to cope in a safe environment
  • Returning to work is likely to be more successful if work issues have been, or are in the process of being resolved
  • Employee will feel more supported
  • Employers are able to support the employee in maintaining a structure and routine
  • A positive message is sent to other employees regarding the level of support they will receive in similar circumstances
  • A clear message is sent to those employees using the sickness absence process inappropriately

Simon Chilton - Occupational Mental Health Advisor

key messages1
Key Messages
  • Employees have a crucial role to play in enabling employers to provide appropriate support at the earliest opportunity
  • Low levels or a lack of communication can help to reinforce the symptoms of stress, or associated illnesses such as anxiety and depression
  • Best practice in supporting employees with these sorts of conditions is very much aligned with current therapeutic approaches

Simon Chilton - Occupational Mental Health Advisor

simon chilton occupational mental health advisor

Simon ChiltonOccupational Mental Health Advisor

Email: simon@omh.org.uk

Mobile: 07853320131

Simon Chilton - Occupational Mental Health Advisor