Assessing Workplace Mental Health

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Is your Workplace Mentally healthy?

Employees of mentally unhealthy workplaces are 4 times more likely to take time off due to mental health concerns compared with employees of mentally healthy workplaces*.

So what sort of workplace is yours?

Mentally-Healthy Workplaces prevent harm, provide support and value healthy minds.

A mentally healthy workplace is one which:

  • protects the mental health of its employees by ensuring that workplace practices don’t create or exacerbate mental health problems.
  • supports the mental health of its employees with practical advice, training, resources and access to counselling.
  • actively encourages a culture of openness and understanding towards mental health issues.

 

5 Steps to Building a Mentally-Healthy Workplace

Organisations wishing to review and improve the health status of their workplace can use the following 5-step strategic process:

  1. Get buy-in from your organisation’s leaders. Put the business case to them and get their commitment to value mental health in the workplace.
  2. Undertake a situational analysis of your organisational culture, workplace practices and job designs. Identify what needs to be done to maximise protective factors, and reduce risk factors.
  3. Develop a strategy to:
    • Improve any workplace practices which may be impinging on the mental health of your employees,
    • build the emotional skills of your employees and managers,
    • support early intervention and requests for help, and
    • raise awareness of mental health issues across your entire organisational structure.
  4.  Implement your strategies and review their impact. Common impediments include stakeholder resistance, a lack of resources, and the general stigma associated with mental illness.
  5. Adjust your strategies and policies and continue to strive towards a mentally healthy environment for your employees.

 

Alarmingly a third of employees don’t even know you care. A recent study commissioned by Beyond Blue* showed that whilst 81% of organisations felt they had implemented programs to support mental health in their workplace, a large percentage of their staff (35%) didn’t even know these programs existed, or how to access them. Furthermore, only 52% of employees considered their workplaces to be mentally healthy.

As an Accredited Employer of our Employee Assistance Program, you are already making solid steps towards becoming a mentally healthy workplace. Perhaps you have a number of good policies in place that recognise the value and importance of mentally healthy workers to your business.

But do your employees know how mentally healthy your workplace is?

Promote your EAP

Don’t just tick the box and put the policies in a drawer. Make your mentally healthy policies and programs clearly apparent to your staff and work together towards fostering a culture that actively encourages employees to seek help when they need it.

Studies have shown that the vast majority of employees (91%) place a high value on working for a mentally healthy workplace. It follows that a mentally healthy workplace will not just reduce absenteeism – it will also help you attract and retain the very best that the Australian workforce has to offer.

Need help raising awareness?

Contact us for posters and brochures as well as website and intranet links to promote your employee assistance program. Any other issues? Give us a call or send us an email and we will be in touch.

Haven’t set up an EAP?

We can get your organisation started with an Employee Assistance Program today. Set up in under an hour with our PAYG no contract plans. Ask us how today.

* TNS Social Research, State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia, 2014

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