Mental health at work is an issue that affects every business in Australia. Mental health is in fact as important as employee physical safety. However, there are still a large number of companies that are yet to implement measures to address the condition. When left unaddressed, mental health can have a negative impact on your employees overall health and wellbeing at work.
Creating a mentally healthy workplace has clear positives for all stakeholders in an organisation. Employees get to enjoy reduced job stress, an improved work-life balance and easy access to support while the employers benefit from increased productivity and a reduction in compensation claims.
As much as employers understand that a healthy workplace promotes a positive workplace culture and minimises potential risks related to mental health in the workplace, the real challenge lies in creating such a work environment.
Tips to help improve the mental health of your workers:
1. Identify the risks to employee mental health:
Identifying the mental health hazards in the workplace can help you reduce the number of new cases. Appropriate programs and policies should be implemented to promote early recognition. Thanks to the recently launched WorkHealth program, you can now be able to conveniently conduct a mental health check in your business. Identifying hazards and controlling potential risks should be done on a continuous basis as new equipment, work processes, and employees come into the workplace.
2. Address the risks:
Identified hazards should be addressed at the earliest. As with any other problem, the earlier the problem is identified and addressed, the better the results. Employees will spend less time out of the workplace and adverse long-term effects can be avoided. Measures should be aimed at minimising both the presence and impact of mental health hazards while at the same time working on your workers capacity to handle potential risks.
3. Review the current processes, programs and policies.
Review the current programs and policies in your organisation focusing solely on mental health. Does it reflect how you want to manage mental wellbeing? Are the cognitive and emotional aspects of duties in your business taken into account?
Mental illness is one of the reasons for employee extended sick leave. As an employer, you have a legal obligation to prevent or reduce health and safety hazards including mental health risks. Take a look at our SafeMinds Mental Health Training to help.
What does a mentally healthy workplace look like? At Recovery Partners, we can help you identify objectives and develop an action plan to create a mentally healthy workplace.
Alternatively, our consultants love to have a chat, so go ahead and give us a call on 1300 OHS RTW (647 789).
Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au
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