Information for managers

Managing mental health in the workplace: your role as a manager

Psychological health - Is the work safe? Do I feel safe? (WorkSafe video: 2:06 min)

Managing mental health in the workplace boils down to supportive and effective management practices.

How to minimise mental health issues in the workplace

  • Demonstrating that you take mental health seriously
  • Showing understanding when a staff member discloses a mental health issue or that they are experiencing difficulties
  • Clearly define worker responsibilities and tasks
  • Show that you value your staff members and recognise their performance and achievements
  • Address performance and behaviour concerns promptly, sensitively and honestly with staff
  • Discuss issues and grievances with your staff members, and take appropriate action
  • Promote collaborative decision making
  • Ensure workload aligns with worker capabilities
  • Promote work life balance
  • Promote professional development and ensure that your staff members feel resourced to do their work
  • Encourage an environment where people feel valued and heard
  • Ensure fairness and respect, creating an environment that demonstrates that bullying and harassment are not tolerated
  • Provide opportunities for social interaction amongst staff
  • Familiarise the basics of Mental Health, Deakin's EAP; health and wellbeing programs, policies and processes to assist staff experiencing mental health issues i.e. reasonable adjustments; return to work

Displaying these behaviours should be ongoing in your role as Manager.

How can I recognise an employee who may be experiencing a mental health issue?

  • Frequent late arrivals
  • Excess use of sick leave or personal time
  • Patterns in days of absence or poor / declining job performance – e .g. on Mondays or Fridays
  • Decreased productivity and difficulty concentrating on work tasks
  • Excessive worry about completing tasks or workload
  • Difficulty in prioritising work, disorganisation; untidy workspace
  • Constantly changing work patterns that do not relate to work demands Increased accidents, injuries or safety problems
  • Unusual restlessness or irritability
  • Problems in work relationships
  • Increased use of supports – EAP, people services
  • Decreased interest or involvement in work
  • A decline in dependability
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