6 Signs Your Employees are Struggling with Mental Health - man with hand on temple looking at laptop

6 Signs Your Employees are Struggling with Mental Health

Haeli Harris
March 23, 2021
October 9, 2022

The phrase "mental health" can be intimidating. Managing employee mental health issues is a challenging process.

The first step to addressing employee mental health issues is to recognize that the issues are occurring.

Business owners and HR directors have a unique opportunity to help their employees with their top-level perspective. They can provide their employees with the tools they need to succeed.

Mental health support is one of them.

While not every employee wants or needs access to clinical therapy, many do. Here are some signs your employees are struggling with mental health and may need some more tools in the toolbox to support their own mental health.  

1. Keeping video off during Zoom calls

In the world of remote work, it is even more difficult to recognize employee mental health issues.

At Nivati, we require everyone to have their video on during Zoom calls. Everyone can benefit from seeing some friendly faces—especially now. We try to create a culture of support.

Employees that tend to keep their video off may simply be disengaged. They may also be working during the meeting to help appease their stress. A depressed employee may simply not have the energy to be fully present during a meeting, or they do not want their coworkers to know how they are feeling.

2. Absenteeism

Absenteeism and showing up late can be signs of depression. Typically, employees that are depressed may have a difficult time completing everyday tasks. Going to work, or even sitting behind a computer to work remotely, can be hard to do. The stresses of work can make mental health issues worse, also leading to absenteeism.  Humans are built to work, but we also require rest. Provide flexible work arrangements for your employees, whether that entails more flexible work hours, vacation time, or work-from-home arrangements. Show your employees that you value their resting time. Without proper rest, productivity drops regardless of an employees' mental health state.

3. Decreased quality of work and/or productivity

This one is a given. However, not all employees react to stress or mental health issues in this way. Some employees overwork to avoid facing their inner world or personal problems. It all depends on the employees' personality.

To address this, make sure to let your employees know about their performance. Feedback is crucial. Let your employees know if they are falling short so they have a chance to improve. Be open to providing employees the tools they need to get back on track—tools like Nivati.

4. Trouble making decisions

Depression and anxiety can lead to rapid decision fatigue—further decreasing quality of work and leading to more disengagement at work.

Direct managers and coworkers likely have better insight into employees' decision-making abilities. Have direct managers check in with their employees one-on-one occasionally. Make sure your employees know you are there to support them.

5. Withdrawal

General withdrawal is one of the signs your employees are struggling with mental health.

Employees that are struggling may not speak up during meetings, sit by themselves at lunch, or take a while to respond to messages. Some employees may appear disconnected or distracted.

6. Inconsistent and/or erratic emotions

Many people that are struggling with mental health do not always appear down or anxious all the time. Many employees put on a mask at work—which is exhausting. But being human, these emotions come through sometimes.

Some may display anger. Others may appear sad or fearful. Others may be irritable.

Make sure to check in with all your employees—especially ones that you sense may be struggling with their emotions. A simple "How are you—truly?" can make a difference.  

If an employee is displaying multiple of these behaviors, they may be struggling with mental health. Every person copes with mental health issues differently. Regardless, check in with your employees to show that you care.

Create a culture that makes discussing mental health okay and even encouraged.

How You Can Help Employees with Their Mental Health

Now that you know the signs an employee is struggling with mental health, make sure to create a culture that fights the mental health stigma. Do things as a company that helps give everyone an emotional and mental boost.

Have your company do social activities together. For instance, at Nivati, we occasionally do yoga sessions together over Zoom.

Provide your employees access to Nivati so they can talk to a therapist anonymously—anytime and anywhere. Challenge your employees to complete a certain number of Nivati live sessions (from yoga to meditation to Pilates) per month.

Don't think your employees need access to clinical therapy? Nivati also provides life coaches that can help employees on their personal development journey or even financial struggles.

Regardless of the challenges your employees are facing, Nivati can help. We will work one-on-one with you to help create a culture that prioritizes mental health. Contact Us today to get started!


By participating in/reading the service/website/blog/email series on this website, you acknowledge that this is a personal website/blog and is for informational purposes and should not be seen as mental health care advice. You should consult with a licensed professional before you rely on this website/blog’s information. All things written on this website should not be seen as therapy treatment and should not take the place of therapy or any other health care or mental health advice. Always seek the advice of a mental health care professional or physician. The content on this blog is not meant to and does not substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Haeli Harris
Haeli Harris
Haeli Harris, LMFT is the Director of Clinical Operations at Nivati. She has been practicing as a Marriage and Family Therapist since 2014. Haeli has experience working as a therapist in private practice settings, residential facilities, outpatient treatment care, schools, and telehealth.