Return to work - Workwise

When staff return to work


Many people who have an experience of mental illness recover and can return to work very successfully.

To ensure the return to work is as smooth as it can be for everyone, there are some simple ways to provide support.

It’s helpful if:

  • you and the team actively make the person feel welcomed back
  • someone checks that the person’s in-tray or email inbox isn’t overflowing – returning to a backlog of work can be stressful
  • you’re  realistic about workloads, as some people may try to ‘prove themselves’ and may offer to take on too much
  • you take the time to have frequent chats so any issues can be discussed informally.

It’s good to avoid:

  • making the person feel scrutinised or watched – perhaps because you are being too caring!
  • making the person feel they are a special case, as this can cause resentment both from the person concerned, and from their colleagues.


“We give people time off for rugby injuries and maternity leave…mental health is no different. In fact, sometimes it is easier to manage than the rugby injuries!” – Employer