The Christmas period can be a time of joy and celebration for many, but for some employees it can be a difficult and stressful time. This may be due to difficult family circumstances, financial pressures, or mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. It’s important for employers to be aware of these potential challenges and to offer support to their employees during this time.
One way supporting employees at Christmas is by offering flexible working arrangements. This may include allowing employees to work from home or to adjust their working hours to better fit their needs. Allowing employees to have control over their schedule can help reduce stress and make it easier for them to manage their responsibilities.
Resources and support
Employers can also provide resources and support for employees who may be struggling with mental health issues. This might include signposting to support groups or providing access to mental health resources and counselling services. It’s important for employees to feel like they can seek help and support if they need it, and for employers to make it clear that these resources are available to them.
In addition to these specific measures, it’s also important for employers to create a supportive and inclusive work environment in general. This might involve providing training and resources on mental health and wellness, and promoting an open and honest culture where employees feel comfortable talking about their feelings and seeking help when they need it.
There are also many external support groups and resources available to employees who may be struggling during the Christmas period. These can include:
- Samaritans: This UK-based charity provides a confidential listening service for anyone who is struggling to cope. They offer support over the phone, by email, or in person.
- Mind: This mental health charity provides information and support for people experiencing mental health issues. They offer a range of services including counselling, support groups, and advice on benefits and housing.
- Anxiety UK: This charity provides support and information for people experiencing anxiety disorders. They offer a helpline, online support groups, and access to therapy and counselling.
- The Mix: This organisation provides support and information for young people under 25 on a range of issues including mental health, relationships, and careers. They offer a helpline, online support groups, and access to therapy and counselling.
- Age UK: This charity provides support and information for older people in the UK. They offer a range of services including counselling, support groups, and advice on benefits and housing.
It’s important for employers to be aware of these external support groups and to encourage employees to seek help if they need it. By supporting employees at Christmas by offering resources and signposting, employers can help ensure that their employees are healthy, happy, and able to enjoy the holiday season.
First Aid for Mental Health courses are available from Wellbeing in Your Office that can help specifically trained team members start conversations and signpost accordingly. Wellbeing in Your Office also has free resources available that can be printed out and used to communicate support and advice.