Photo by Alex Knight

Owning a company is a difficult job. You don’t need us to tell you that. There are so many considerations you have to make to not only look after your business, but your staff too.

Today, mental health problems are on the rise and it’s something business owners have to be particularly aware of, especially as the levels of depression and addiction are skyrocketing amidst the cost of living crisis.

Addiction is always a tricky topic. On the one hand, being under the influence of substances at work is grounds for dismissal. On the other, we have a duty of care for our staff. Guiding our staff through drug and alcohol rehab, alongside any other addiction treatment can be hugely valuable for the members of the team and your business as a whole, and here are five top tips for doing so…

Foster Open Communication

Firstly, you should create an environment that allows people to be open about their struggles, without any fear of judgement. That doesn’t just have to be the case for addiction, but any other issues too. It’s all about establishing trust, which will provide the platform a person needs to reach out and get the support they need. To do that it could be as simple as sending around regular emails asking how people are, or if you’re struggling or have struggled, reach out and talk about your own experiences.


Develop a Supportive Company Culture

Taking that one step further, ensuring your company culture promotes positive mental health and wellbeing is also key. It should be something that’s prioritised regularly, offering workshops or assistance programmes. Even activities such as lunch time yoga can make a huge difference and foster a positive and valued environment.

Provide Access to Professional Help

A hugely important step is to have the help there for when it is needed. You can collaborate with healthcare providers for the likes of employee assistance programmes, which offer counselling, therapy and other support services to those that are struggling. For employees, knowing that help is readily available will ensure staff get the help without any fear of negative consequences.

Flexible Work Arrangements

Most businesses these days offer an element of flexibility and by implementing flexible work arrangements, staff will know that they can accommodate any kind of treatment or support they need.

That may be for support in recovery, or simply to maintain a healthier work-life balance during more difficult periods of their life or recovery process.

Educate Staff and Management

Finally, it’s largely about education. Offering educational programmes can be great for this, allowing people to understand what addiction is, how it can affect you and what the recovery process entails. This will create a more empathetic and educated environment, reduce stigma around addiction, and enable colleagues to assist those that are struggling on their recovery journey.