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Addressing Mental Health in the Workplace

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Addressing employee mental health can often feel taboo to executive coaches who are unsure how to approach it. Rather than shying away, challenge yourself to learn about your employees, prepare resources to support them, and create a culture of wellness they trust. By creating an infrastructure that promotes their wellbeing, employees will lean on you for support and thrilled to be part of your team.

Approachable Conversations

If you have opened your doors to employees as their executive coach, they should be able to come to you when they need support. Making yourself approachable and open to conversations about mental health is a positive way to earn your employees’ trust and remind them you care about their wellbeing beyond the workplace. If you notice your coworker is struggling or stressed, a professional but caring coach check-in is appropriate in case they truly need support.

Ways to initiate employee coaching conversations about mental health include:
● “How are you doing lately?”
● “What can I do to support you right now?”
● “Are you taking enough breaks or time to recharge?”
● “Can I connect you to the best resource to help you with this?”

Resources

Executive coaches should actively keep a library of mental health resources to refer to when needed. Often times, work is at the core of peoples’ stress and anxiety, so keeping this in mind allows you to go the extra mile and show them you are here to help. As a coach, you are qualified to refer them to certain resources or ask motivational interview questions to learn more about what they need. Ensuring that good mental health resources are available is a retention (and good faith) strategy that educates your employees to show up as the best versions of themselves and ask for help.

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One Comment

  1. Marilyn Orr

    May 24, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks for gracefully tackling such a prominent issue! As a coach with a therapist background I love encouraging coaches to still use the tools they have as a coach to at least start the conversation and provide support to people with mental health challenges.

    If you’d like it on your list, my book is called “How Absorbent Are Your Shocks?” It is an everyday workbook for greater resilience.

    Thanks Patrick for the great article!

    Marilyn Orr

    Reply

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