THINK was exclusively invited to an intimate Mental Health Roundtable Series hosted by the TransTasman Business Circle. Industry leaders shared their thoughts on mental health and highlighted its prevalence across industries. What makes events like these so special was the chair Lucy Brogden, National Mental Health Commission, and John Brogden AM, Chair, Lifeline who not only understand the experiences and challenges, but how to turn these into positive strategies to roll out across the commercial landscape.
Mental Illness in the Workplace
Mental illness is one of the leading causes of absenteeism and long-term work incapacity in Australia. Creating a mentally healthy workplace is achievable for all organisations, however requires a genuine, ongoing commitment across all levels of the workplace.
Empowering Employers to Create a Mentally Healthy Workforce
Research tells us that work performance is highest when employees report the highest levels of job satisfaction and psychological wellbeing. Hallmarks of a psychologically healthy workplace include supportive leadership; employee engagement; role clarity; learning, development and growth opportunities; appraisal and recognition; and work-life balance.
The National Mental Health Commission has identified six key areas and strategies for creating mentally healthy workplaces and maximising the mental health and wellbeing of their workforce:
1. Smarter work design: Allowing for greater flexibility and opportunities for more employees to be involved in decision-making processes
2. Build better work cultures: Workplace mental health education and training for all senior staff members to build a positive and safe work culture
3. Build resilience: Stress management for all employees, particularly those in high risk jobs to enhance personal and organisational resilience
4. Early intervention: Promoting and facilitating early help seeking and early intervention, as well as wellbeing checks once appropriate support programs are in place
5. Supporting recovery: Adopting flexible return-to-work programs and recovery support programs with leaders and supervisors
6. Increase awareness: Providing access to mental health information and resources and actively engaging in mental health awareness programs, such as R U OK?
Here at THINK, we have worked with a number of industries and clients where identifying ways to promote mental health is top of mind, such as BCNA, Bolton Clarke and Cabrini. Check out our Case Studies page to learn more about these projects.
Lauren Irwin – Research Consultant