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10 tips for managing employees struggling with mental health

0 2 years ago

Have you managed employees dealing with depression, anxiety or other mental health illnesses during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Considering the past two years have been a hellscape, you most certainly have. And you’re not alone – HR leaders across the United States have been contending with these challenges.

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, HRD America partnered with Terkel, an online marketplace connecting brands with expert insights, to learn best practices and strategies from business leaders.

Be compassionate

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Katherine Hurlbutt has held space for her teammates as they’ve grappled with mental illness, as well as coached executives and line managers on how to support their teams with mental health in general.

Additionally, the founder of Los Angeles-based stress management provider Bask + Being has navigated her own anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Compassion was the most universally useful skill in each of those situations,” Hurlbutt says. “To practice compassion in a conversation: slow down, ask open-ended questions, listen deeply to understand and witness their struggles without judgment. It might not feel like enough, but I assure you, it’s often the most powerful gift you can give as a leader.”

Communicate openly

Ending the stigma around mental health is ongoing, though the pandemic brought it front and center which allowed for deeper conversations. An important soft skill in leadership is to practice open communication and share vulnerably as this will set the tone for your team, according to Rebecca O’Brien, founder and CEO of San Francisco-based mental health care provider Wellness by Rebecca.

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