Staff wellbeing: how to spot early signs of depression and anxiety

With an open and honest wellbeing culture in place, you may be able to spot problems early. Get advice on what to look for and what to do if you have concerns.

Last reviewed on 14 February 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 42043
  1. What to look out for
  2. Remember, it's not your job to diagnose your staff
  3. How to approach concerns about mental health sensitively
  4. Encourage an open and honest school culture

What to look out for

Common signs of mental ill health can include:

  • Taking more sick leave
  • Taking less care with appearance
  • Sudden weight gain or loss
  • Working too many hours or taking on too much work
  • Arriving late to work and missing deadlines
  • Changes in behaviour when socialising, e.g. erratic or unacceptable behaviour, drinking or smoking more
  • Being more angry, irritable or argumentative
  • Being more withdrawn than usual, or losing confidence
  • Being over-excited or euphoric (this might happen if they're worried they'll be seen as depressed and try to compensate)
  • Struggling to concentrate, making errors in their work
  • Problems with memory or organisation
  • Overreacting to problems that come up

Share this list with all your staff, and make sure that your line managers in particular are familiar with potential warning signs. A staff member who is struggling may prefer to go to a friend or

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