Employee Wellbeing - Mental Health | Northland DHB

Employee Wellbeing - Mental Health

  • You should check in regularly with workers to ensure they’re well. There are a range of reasons why workers may come to work despite being told that they should stay home if unwell, so it is important to have open communication with workers to understand why they want to be at work
  • You could set up a system for workers and other people to self-check they do not have any symptoms before they enter the premises, and display posters of what symptoms to be aware of around your workplace. We have included links to posters you may want to make use of in our resources section
  • Talk to your staff to come up with a plan for operating safely and identify any potential risks and how to manage them

As an employer you may also like to consider:

  • setting up flexible leave or working from home arrangements to ensure workers stay at home and are not financially pressured to come to work when they are unwell, particularly over winter and the flu season
  • how you will follow-up to ensure workers only return if they have recovered or they have been tested and cleared of COVID-19
  • working with team members who may be considered more at-risk due to age or pre-existing health conditions (or who live with people who are more at-risk), or who may be worried about returning to work, on the best way for them to safely transition back to working on-site or continue working from home. This may include working some hours from home, staggering shifts and work breaks, or flexible leave options. Work and Income can also provide information on further options

Some people may be anxious about leaving their bubbles after several weeks at home – known as ‘reintegration anxiety’ or ‘re-entry syndrome’ - and this is understandable. The Mental Health Foundation has useful resources online as part of their Getting Through Together campaign, and are working with All Right? who have also put together posters, online tools, and a contacts page of people who can help.  

They also have specific resources for employers and managers to help create work environments where people feel safe, calm, connected and hopeful throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

As a starting point, they recommend it is good to think about the common causes of stress among employees:

  • Catching or spreading COVID-19
  • Concerns about how long the pandemic will last
  • Worries about finances, job security and feeding the whānau/family
  • Work and home and parenting stressors in the mirumiru/bubble
  • Feelings around isolation and redefining connections to various communities, including work
  • Loss of extended supports
  • Fears around whether they can cope during this time

If you feel you're not coping, it's important to talk with a health professional. For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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