Importance of Early Intervention to Aid Mental Ill Health at Work

Experiencing a mental health setback at work can be challenging and stressful. Long-lasting mental health conditions can have a devastating impact on both the employers and their employees because when an employee goes on sick leave, disability, or injured, it affects the organization’s workflow, and team’s productivity, and can result in the business bearing a heavy cost.

On contrary, early intervention is good for both businesses and their staff. It also helps managers and supervisors support their workforce in a better way to create an environment of peace and harmony for everyone. 

This piece of content will walk readers through the importance of identifying the early signs of mental health issues at work and what steps can help minimize the problem.

What is Early Intervention & Why is it Important?

Early intervention means getting help early for individuals showing up early signs of mental health issues. Addressing the problem in the initial stages makes it easy to treat underlying or developing health conditions that may cause a person’s life in worse scenarios.

Some studies show that early intervention and treatment can significantly impact mental ailment and may bring individual suffering to their normal life. It also helps build resilience, speed up the recovery process, and prevent the problem from getting worse.

It is one of the most critical stages for most employers and HR managers as they have to step in support their employees suffering from:

  • Sickness absence 
  • Sick leave 

Organizations know the importance of prevention from illnesses or diseases in their workplace. Healthy employees are an important asset in any working environment or business. It is seen that 84 companies reported that 52% of their employees experienced even a single health challenge, that when not taken into account seriously led to a deeper health concern causing more complex issues impacting their overall health and productivity.

Another scenario indicated that absenteeism is the bottom-line killer resulting in a direct cost of around $2,650 each year per employee, according to a Circadian Study.  

This shows the importance of early identification to help provide the necessary aid to those in need.

Not Seeking Help Can be Harmful

One of the major reasons for lacking treatment for mental health and asking for help is the stigma that revolves around it for ages. People are often afraid of asking for the help, support, and care they need to overcome this issue. All in all, not seeking help is also a problem in itself. 

The longer it takes for an individual to receive help the more it becomes difficult to recover. For instance, anxiety may develop at a young age and early intervention can definitely be of help, but if left untreated can lead to chronic mental ailments and may affect an individual’s personal and professional life.

What to do to Overcome the Issue?

The problem can be solved right away or even minimized if the right techniques or steps are followed. Some of the few things employers and their employees can do are:

  1. Raising Awareness

Raising awareness is the first step employers can do to spot the signs of mental health issues in their workplace. Creating awareness also comes down to having self-awareness of the problem among individuals. Being aware of mental health issues is a skill that can be developed and can be effective in overcoming the exact problem.

  1. Encourage Employees

Mental ill health is difficult to spot among employees therefore, employers are required to have necessary arrangements to encourage their staff along with the support they need to reduce it. Common short-term stress responses can be tackled with adequate information and guidance, however, these issues remaining unattended can lead to severe issues and requires professional help. 

  1. Provide Support 

Employers provide necessary support and care to their employees can overcome the problem. This includes arranging proper sessions to talk about existing or developing issues. 

Another effective way is to provide the right training to the staff, that could be mental health awareness training to provide vital information, workplace stress training to educate on stress coping techniques, and mental health first aid training to appoint and educate designated staff members at work to help people in need.

Having a mental health first aider at work is the best way to provide support and distress individual and help create a secure workplace for everyone. 


Mental ill health is not something to take lightly, especially at work, it could cost an individual their life for it. As prevention is better than cure, identifying mental health issues early is also a proactive approach to providing necessary aid to the ones in need. 

While employers are responsible to ensure their staff’s safety and health by all means, employees are also required to take steps that can be beneficial for themselves and their surroundings as a whole. Because safety can only be achieved with the combined effort of everyone involved in the process.