In relation to the implementation of the Employment Phase of project “Life Investment is the Key to Employment” funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment, the Bulgarian team expanded the scope of training for employers in the whole country.

On 18th of February (Friday) Association sustainability for progressive and open communication /SPOC/ conducted the first of a series of online seminars for employers about the integration of NEETs on the labor market. How to give them opportunities – not privilege, why this is necessary and how it is possible. The first one was focused on how to deal with an employee with mental health problem.

The participants that took part in the discussion were mainly representatives of the human resources sector, managers, team leaders and other organizations representing the private sector and local authorities. Representatives of the Ministry of Health, The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, psychiatric hospitals and universities are also registered for the educational courses.

The main focus of the seminar was mental health problems in the workplace and what can be done by a manager or other team member when faced with such a case. Different factors that may influence the mental health of the employees were also discussed.

The lecturers of the educational course pointed out for the employers that the mental problems are characterized by periods of crises and remission; crises are short while, the remissions are long; mild psychological problems exist, the symptoms of which do not sabotage the performance of tasks. Numerous examples and arguments were discussed during the seminar – what are the advantages of hiring a person with mental health problems: he/she is using his/hers strengths at work, respects the rules and authorities and is progressing in his/hers performance and achievements.

The interest in the proposed topic for the seminar training was expressed in a number of preliminary questions in the registration form for the event:

  • How to deal with an employee or a colleague who does not want to admit or recognize his problem
  • Prevention of addiction to surfactants among employees due to high workload and exhaustion
  • How to support an employee that suffers from depression
  • How a narcissistic leader reflects on the team members
  • The stress of constant audio and video surveillance in the workplace and how it affects the employees

The important topics for employers were formed from the discussions and debates, which determined the subject of the next seminars. One of the most anticipated ideas for discussion will be a topic in the second national seminar – employees at risk of alcohol or other psychoactive substances abuse.