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22 Feb 2021

Managing staff mental wellbeing during COVID-19

While we have all been working in new ways during the COVID-19 pandemic there have been new challenges to ​managing a team working remotely or in supporting key workers to remain safe while they deliver essential services.

We've pulled together a few things that could help you help employees cope with new ways of working during the coronavirus situation.

Talking about mental health

Communicating with individual employees or apprentices who are experiencing mental health issues can feel challenging. Able Futures Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants are highly experienced mental health professionals who are used to supporting individuals who are struggling with their mental health, and have shared some things to think about when you’re talking to people who are experiencing mental health issues.

Try saying

  • If you want to talk, I'm here for you
  • That sounds really difficult
  • Is there anything I can do to help?
  • You are important

Don't say

  • Just try to think positively
  • Medication doesn't help. Stop taking it and you will feel better
  • Don't let it get you down. Take control
  • Smile and walk tall

Looking after your own mental health

Caring for your own mental wellbeing will mean you feel well and able to support others if they need advice or guidance. 

  1. Connect with people, animals or nature. Text a friend. Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.
  2. Learn something new today. Use a new word. Try out a new recipe. Learn a new sport.
  3. Be active. Walk in nature. Dance around your living room. Take the stairs.
  4. Notice what is around you. The weather. The lovely smell of your cup of coffee. Appreciate your lunch.
  5. Give something. A smile. A thank you. A word of encouragement. A donation to charity.
  6. Drink more water.
  7. Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
  8. Develop a good routine before bed to ensure a good night’s sleep.
  9. Spend time engaged in a hobby you enjoy.
  10. Keep a journal to track what you are thinking and feeling.

Responding to a crisis

If you are speaking to an employee who seems to be experiencing a mental health crises, try to remember these six things to help you react and support them. 

  1. Stay calm.
  2. Listen to what the person is telling you. Do not try to cheer them up. If they seem suicidal ask them directly. You will not put the idea into their head.
  3. Ask them what help they need.
  4. Ask them if there is someone they want you to contact.
  5. Encourage them to seek appropriate professional support.
  6. If you believe they are in danger of hurting themselves or others speak to emergency services.


Learning more

Contact Able Futures employer services team for more information about how we can support you and your employees with mental health at work during the COVID-19 pandemic and as we move forward on the roadmap for easing lockdown.

You may also find courses such as FutureLearn's COVID-19: Psychological First Aid produced by Public Health England helpful to deal with emergencies. 

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