Depression and anxiety have been shown to be key causes of absenteeism and poor performance in Australian workplaces*. Supporting your employees to regain their mental health makes good business sense. But first steps first – how do you know when your staff might be mentally unwell? Some of the telltale signs are listed below. For a more comprehensive approach, you may also want to look into mental health awareness training for your team.

Recognising Depression

Depression is characterised by low mood and depleted energy, a feeling of hopelessness about the future and a sense of low personal worth.

4 workplace behaviours that may indicate depression are:

  1. Turning up late to work or failing to attend at all
  2. Struggling to meet reasonable deadlines
  3. Difficulty multi-tasking
  4. Rarely smiling or appearing enthusiastic about work


Recognising Anxiety

Someone suffering from anxiety worries about their performance or their ability to cope with situations in the near future. They are typically afraid to participate and often fear exposure.

4 workplace behaviours that may signify anxiety are:

  1. Frequent absence from work, or avoiding certain workplace activities, such as group meetings
  2. Not being assertive (sometimes presents with eye-contact avoidance)
  3. Being noticeably restless, appearing tense or being on edge
  4. Difficulty making decisions

Whilst these behaviours on their own may not indicate a mental health issue, an employee who suddenly starts to exhibit some of these symptoms could be suffering from depression or anxiety. If the symptoms are present for 2 or more weeks you should investigate further.

How your EAP can help

If you are already an Accredited Employer of our Employee Assistance Program, you can use us for advice and support on how to recognise and respond to mental health concerns in your workplace. Simply put a call through to our office and our Director of Clinical & Corporate Services will be in touch.

Not yet a member of our EAP? It’s easy to get started and set up takes less than an hour. Call us today and ask about our quick to set up easy EAP.

* Developing a Mentally Healthy Workplace: A review of the literature. A Report for the National Mental Health Commision and the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance. Nov 2014

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