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A Mental Health Strategy Map for Your Organisation

By Tasha Broomhall

Are you feeling overwhelmed by how to deal with the rising issues around mental health and mental illness in the workplace?

Increasing rates of stress claims; leaders unsure of how to manage employees with mental health issues; ongoing organisational change creating instability and peoples mental wellbeing being affected, are some of the common issues that we hear are causing concerns in workplaces. So where do you start? How can you implement actions to develop a culture of positive mental health and wellbeing?

There are many ideas you can implement to develop a positive mental health culture in your organisation. The following is not an exhaustive or prescriptive list, but rather a collection of ideas that you should assess for merit in relation to your individual organisation, and action accordingly.

Awareness Raising

Assessing and developing your organisation’s mental health literacy. These are primary level interventions that ensure your policies, procedures and systems enhance the mental wellbeing of your employees. They also serve to ensure that mental health issues are recognised and responded to appropriately, balancing the individual’s needs with the organisation’s needs.

Skill Building

Building personal buoyancy, team values development and the capacity of people leaders to recognise and appropriately respond to mental health issues in the workplace. These primary and secondary level interventions focus on professional and personal skill development to ensure that all people leaders have the skills to recognise and appropriately respond to mental health issues in your organisation. They also serve to encourage all employees to develop their individual buoyancy and proactively manage their own mental wellbeing.

Behavioural Integration

Integrating the increased mental health knowledge into the culture of your workplace so it becomes “how we do things around here”. This includes tertiary level interventions designed to develop a culture of peer support to ensure that if and where issues arise, your employees are able to appropriately support each other and engage with your EAP provider or with community resources. Actions speak louder than words. The overall goal of your organisation’s programs should be for your employees to integrate the information they learn into their daily practices. We want them to regularly use their new skills to look after their own mental health and wellbeing, and better respond to the needs of those around them.

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