RedArc is warning the full magnitude of the pandemic’s effect on the mental health of employees will only be witnessed when they start returning to work.
Ahead of Mental Health Awareness week, which runs from 10-16 May, the support service is urging insurers and employers to gear up to support the mental health of employees returning to work.
Managing director Christine Husbands (pictured) believes insurers and employers need to be ready for a significant rise in demand when staff return to the workplace.
“Employers have a role to play in normalising different,” she said.
“Staff will respond well to clear communication of the organisational changes, and they’ll want to see a competent, straightforward and calm approach.
“However, while many anxieties will pass, we need to remember that we all see situations through a different lens, and it’s important to recognise that some people will need more support.
“Employers will be called upon to provide help for the mental wellbeing of their staff, and they’ll be looking to see what’s available.”
Taking the wrong path
Consequently, Husbands believes now is the time for protection insurers to look at what they provide and make sure any support for mental wellbeing hasn’t just been a tick-box exercise.
“When people need help with their mental wellbeing, it’s important that they’re clinically assessed by a mental health specialist,” she said.
“A lot of time can be wasted when people go down the wrong path of treatment if they haven’t been clinically assessed, and that can equate to mental health deteriorating.
“And while many of us may think that counselling is a good catch-all, it’s by no means the most appropriate option for everyone. A range of options needs to be made available so that the most relevant therapy can commence.”
She added that Mental Health Awareness Week was a time when more people will be talking about mental wellbeing and employers would be investigating how they can support their staff.