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    Leaders warned that second wave will be more challenging for employees, depression rates double

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    As more of the UK moves into lockdown and the UK Government urges employees to work from home again, business psychologist Dannielle Haig has warned businesses that they need to prioritise employee wellbeing as the second wave is set to be mentally more challenging.

    Recent research from the Office for National Statistics found that by June, two months into the initial lockdown, instances of reported depression had doubled from pre-lockdown rates (from around 10% of adults, to around 20%). By August 40% of adults reported that coronavirus was affecting their wellbeing.

    The initial lockdown was an unprecedented change in the way we socialised, worked and lived. It was, therefore, no surprise that many of us found the restrictions challenging and that it had a huge impact on our mental health. As the nation slips into a second lockdown, after a few months of freedom and a taste of normal life, the impact on mental health and wellbeing is expected to be even worse.

    We are about to face a tough few months with less financial support from the Government, no sunny weather to escape our homes and the economic impact of the initial lockdown starting to taking effect. Businesses therefore need to make employees wellbeing a priority and ensure their leaders are trained to be empathetic and understand how to spot the early stages of stress and mental health issues, according to DH Consulting owner Danielle Haig.

    She offered: “At a time of mass change, confusion and anxiety, strong leadership is required more than ever. It’s fundamental for organisations to support their staff by encouraging and building the confidence of their leaders. The most efficient and effective approach to support employee wellbeing is through the training and development of the senior team.”

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    Lisa Carter

    All stories by: Lisa Carter