Employers guide to anxiety disorders and stress
Anxiety covers a range of phobias and disorders. Anxiety and stress are things that most people experience but for some coping with anxiety and stress can become difficult.
Types of anxiety disorders
There are lots of types of anxiety disorder. Some of the most common ones are:
- social phobias
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
- health anxiety (hypochondria)
- generalised anxiety disorder
- post traumatic stress disorder.
How do anxiety disorders affect people?
Anxiety disorders affect people both physically and psychologically, including
- heart palpitations
- dizziness or fainting
- difficulty sleeping
- more frequent illness, due to lower immune system
- difficulty concentrating
- feelings of dread.
Recruiting people with anxiety disorders?
You can help people with an anxiety disorder through your recruitment process.
- Make the recruitment process clear to avoid uncertainty.
- If someone declares that they have an anxiety disorder ask them how you might support them.
- Allow breaks during interviews and tests, particularly if they are showing signs of stress.
- Consider allowing someone to accompany the applicant to the interview.
- Think about a ‘working interview’ to enable the individual to demonstrate their skills and abilities on the job.
Supporting staff who have anxiety disorders?
People with anxiety disorders often feel misunderstood. Try to find out how their condition affects them. You could:
- appoint a workplace buddy or mentor
- talk to the individual to see how they would like to be supported and what triggers their disorder
- identify any workplace triggers and see what can be done to allow the individual to avoid these
- have regular review meetings.
Useful information about anxiety disorders
You might need to make some adjustments to help your employees. These could include specialist equipment like chairs and IT equipment. Grants are available through Access to Work (external site) to help to cover the cost of items that are identified as necessary to support employees who are disabled or have a health condition.