Aberdeen City Council is to create a mental health action plan after new figures reveal an average 2.7 days a month were lost per employee for psychological reasons.
A new report shows the most common cause for staff absence is stress and anxiety.
The data, which was gathered by the council over a two-year period, shows that 2.7 days on average were lost per employee in October 2018.
However, this has reduced from May 2018 when the figure was an average of 2.9 days.
It also shows 8.9% of the council’s sickness absence among employees in 2017-18 was due to psychological reasons, down from 8.3% in 2016-17.
Council officers have said that, based on the data, it would be “appropriate” to consider putting in place an action plan to help further reduce the number of absences and develop a “culture of openness and support”.
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Among the measures being considered are introducing awareness-raising sessions, which include case stories from members of staff, and introducing staff to “positive coping strategies”.
Councillor Steve Delaney, who sits on the staff governance committee, said: “There’s clearly a higher awareness of mental illness which is only right both within the council and elsewhere.
“Employees suffering from mental health problems is every bit as serious as those suffering from physical health problems, and it’s important the council supports people through difficult times.
“There was a need to formalise this and I will be happy to see this going forward.”
The mental health action plan also includes recommendations to create a “safe physical space”, which employees can access to “promote self care” during the working day and training managers to have “sensitive conversations”.
Employees could also be encouraged to share their mental health experiences anonymously via an online blog.
Councillors on the staff governance committee are recommended to agree the action plan when it meets on Thursday.