signs an employee is struggling with their mental health

Mental Health awareness and investment in mental health services have increased considerably over the past few years. But there is still a lot of stigma around admitting that a person is struggling with their mental health.

The impact of a mental health illness can affect every person’s life. Including their home, personal, and even work life. With conditions potentially affecting their behaviour, feelings, ways of thinking, and overall mood.

Knowing what to do when a person is suffering from a mental health illness is important. But many people don’t admit to suffering in the first place, so spotting the signs is the first step. Especially as an employer, when you have employees there is a duty of care. Plus work could in fact worsen the impact that the person is feeling or even cause mental health issues.


7 Signs an Employee is Struggling with their Mental Health:


Change in their physical appearance

When a person is struggling mentally, they will struggle to keep up their basic appearance. You may notice a difference in how they presented themselves before. This could include wearing dirty/ unironed clothes and not doing their hair or make-up the way they previously did.


Inconsistent behaviour

Any behaviours which are out of the ordinary. This could include mood swings, extreme emotions, and highs and lows unlike before.



When suffering from a mental health illness a person may struggle with timekeeping. This can include more absences than usual, lateness and even taking more days off sick. But this could also stretch to not wanting to interact with coworkers and avoiding others.


Easily irritated

A person may start to become irritated easily by things that previously wouldn’t have bothered them. This can include clients, colleagues, or in general.


Change in patterns of behaviour

Although changes in sleeping patterns cannot be seen at work, changes in eating habits could be seen.


Difficulty in focusing

Completing previously simple tasks could become difficult for someone who is struggling with their mental health. A person’s levels of productivity could decrease, as well as having trouble concentrating.



A person could begin to worry about unnecessary things, which could include potentially losing their job, or forgetting something.


Destructive behaviours

In some extreme cases, a person struggling with their mental health may turn to destructive behaviours. This could include taking drugs, drinking in excess, or other addictions like sex and gambling.


How Occupational Health Services can help


Management Referrals: an assessment to ascertain more information on an individual’s health. This could provide more information on the mental health of the person, and whether they are able to stay at work or return to work.

Wellbeing audit: where there is an audit company-wide, into the wellbeing of employees and whether the workplace can do anything to mitigate this.

Employee assistance program: a service that is available 24/7 and 365 days a year. This service has been designed to help employees whenever they need support. Answering questions, talking through feelings, and any other further support that can be offered. 


Contact us


To find out more about our mental health services, get in touch via email at or call us on 01260 277797

Want to know more about the Occupational Health services we provide at Acorn, and how they could benefit your business and your employees? Please get in touch.