Last updated: 26.09.22

How to identify mental health disorders

Summary: What are some of the most common mental health issues that individuals face and how can organisations be proactive in supporting staff in this area?

Mental health is one of the most important issues for organisations to appreciate and understand, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic. The mental wellbeing of your staff should always be high on your list of priorities.

Supportive and forward-thinking organisations will benefit from enhanced employee engagement, productivity and reputation. Providing effective mental health support that ensures all members of staff are happy and well cared for, no matter if you have a remote, hybrid or office-based workforce, can only benefit your business. That said, understanding where mental health issues arise and what are the most common types of mental illness to be aware of is not always easy.

Overall, one in four people in the UK will be diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime. Mental health relates to the way that individuals think about themselves, their actions and their life in general. It can therefore be hugely impactful when mental health problems do surface.

Causes of mental health disorders

There are a range of factors that come into play when seeking to define the different forms of mental health problems that individuals throughout your business may face. However, one of the biggest factors that can impact mental health in the workplace is levels of stress.

The causes of stress can be varied, but common issues that arise for employees include being unable to cope with the demands of their role, a lack of control over their work, poor support from colleagues/management, poor relationships with colleagues, bullying, or change within a business. It is important to therefore monitor the wellbeing of staff at all times and to check in on individuals whom you believe may be facing increased levels of stress.

Mental health problems are not just linked to stress, however, and other causes may include diagnosed illnesses like depression, ADHD or bipolar disorder, while traumatic events, like a bereavement, or an incident from childhood may have lasting effects that impact a person's mental health over the long term.

Some of the signs that an individual may be suffering from mental health problems include:

  • Changes in mood
  • Erratic behaviour
  • Chronic anxiety
  • Physical or mental fatigue
  • Increased absence
  • Low productivity
  • Reclusiveness

It is therefore important for organisations to be aware of the tell-tale signs of mental health problems among their staff and to be proactive in engaging with their teams to make conversations around mental health less of a taboo subject. For those working in remote or hybrid working organisations, this can be particularly easy to miss, as daily face-to-face interaction is infrequent. Ensuring you make the time to have these discussions is so important.

Importance of mental health support

Building awareness around the importance of strong mental health is imperative for organisations, as this ensures members of staff will feel more comfortable coming forward to management to discuss any issues they may be facing.

Maintaining an open dialogue with individuals throughout your business paves the way for a better understanding of the challenges they face and the steps that can be taken to help support them in the most appropriate manner.

Ultimately, organisations have a duty of care and a vested interest in ensuring their staff remain fit and healthy and able to work to the best of their ability. Issues and conversations surrounding mental health should therefore be no more taboo than those of physical wellbeing and this is something forward-thinking businesses should be striving to achieve.

For more information, view our mental health courses here or contact us at for a consultation on how Virtual College can help your organisation achieve a positive mental health environment through a robust mental health training strategy.