Across the UK, approximately 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year. Dr Vince Gradillas, consultant psychiatrist, London Medical Concierge, gives advice to employers on the most effective way to support employees through treatment for addiction.

There’s no doubt that addiction and consequent mental health problems can have a significant impact on all aspect of people’s lives leading to difficulties in relationships, with finances and at work.

However, there is also a strong line of thought amongst experts that there is a mutually-reinforcing relationship between employment and recovery.

Knowing the below tips can assist you in not only identifying issues but helping your employees navigate them.

  1. Know the signs

Addictions can anyone affect anyone, in any career.  Whilst people often become very adept at hiding certain patterns of behaviour in the workplace, it’s important that employers invest in some training or education so that they can spot the first sign of a problem and can help staff access expert intervention if needed.  The “signs” of addictions will vary, but could include frequent problems with time-keeping, difficulties concentrating and completing tasks, displaying mood or behavioural changes and avoiding colleagues at particular times such as after lunch.

  1. Don’t be afraid to address the problem

Employees are often afraid to come forward and talk to their workplace – whether that’s a colleague, line-manager or HR department about their addictions for fear of the consequences. The reality is that addictions not only affect a person’s wellbeing, but also impact their performance and productivity at work. So, making a proactive approach to address the problem directly, but discreetly, helps both employer and employee in the long term.

  1. Mind your language

The more you understand about the condition and are able to talk to your employee sensitively and accurately, the more likely you are to reduce stigma around mental health problems and encourage the employee to seek help.

  1. Consider novel treatment approach

One novel approach growing in popularity is for treatment for addiction to be delivered safely and effectively at in a familiar home environment. Having expert treatment in a safe sanctuary – a place that’s comfortable and private, somewhere the patient feels totally at home – is often where the best chance of recovery is possible.  If people are to balance work and recovery, removing the stresses of attending appointments, negotiating taking time off with managers etc. can be extremely beneficial to the recovery process.

  1. Respect privacy and confidentiality

In all communications with employees it is vital that you re-iterate that their privacy and confidentiality will be honoured and that you will keep communications open to support employees throughout their recovery.

For more information and fast tracked appointments to leading mental health experts please contact us at London Medical Concierge on experts@londonmedicalconcierge.com or call 020 7305 5590

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