Tash McLennan is the Senior Health Safety & Wellbeing Manager at HBF Health Ltd, Australia. HBF Health Ltd are committed to supporting and equipping their leaders to be able to manage mental health issues and psychological health and safety for their workforce. It was important that their leaders were able to recognise the signs and symptoms that indicated that employees may be experiencing mental health issues, and the knowledge and skills to offer support, while also designing work in a way to minimise psychosocial risks.
How we worked with HBF Health Ltd
Our needs were really that we were wanting to make sure that we were in a position to best support and equip our people with being able to lead from the front with managing mental health conditions within the workforce. And for us it was really important that our leaders were able to have enough awareness to recognise the signs and some of the symptoms, and I suppose triggers that their workforce, and the people underneath them, may be struggling. How to reach out, and also how to be confident with reaching out and starting conversations, and just to be present within those conversations as well.
It was also really important for us that any training was going to be an enabler of driving the right behaviours within our business, and also for facilitating our culture of building a mentally healthy workforce, so really hoping that people were able to really call on the skills and the resources to further build out being open and honest within those conversations around mental health.
The reason we chose Blooming Minds, is because it was clear from the start that we would be working in partnership with Tasha and the Blooming Minds staff. Tasha has always taken the time to understand our business, understand the context of our business, and I suppose the organisational change and the different stages that the business is going through, which has really helped us with working out what our objectives are, and the outcomes for our courses as well. And Blooming Minds has grown with us as well, obviously, business needs change all the time and we’ve worked on that together.
We have had consistent feedback from our leaders that the sessions are interesting and engaging. They’re also very down to earth, practical and relatable. The content is pitched at all levels, so we have people leaders that come in, and they could be within their first 4 weeks with us, and we’ve got people leaders that could have been with us for 3 years, and we’ve also got senior leaders and executive as well. Blooming Minds is really great at working out the audience, and where to pitch the information.
The structure of the sessions is really, really flexible. We’ve used face to face group sessions, and we’ve also used online sessions, and we’ve had feedback that’s really positive for both structures as well, both online and face to face Blooming Minds has been great with making the workshops very practical, lots of role plays, lots of case studies, and also just lots of discussion as well. So, you know, if there’s certain things that people are struggling with, or they just like a little bit more information or guidance on, Blooming Minds does always take the time to go through that and build it into the structure of the course as well.
Our leaders always walk away with a greater awareness of mental health conditions, but I think one of the biggest impacts is a shared confidence. Often people, where they would like to reach out and provide as much support as possible, they think that it’s an expert’s job and an expert’s role, and they are just not sure how to approach someone, how to have a conversation, how to stay in the moment.
And I think people get a little bit bogged down in the fact that they need to try and solve situations and solutions for others, when really, it’s just reaching out, having a conversation, being empathetic, having the tools and strategies to help the person to work out next actions and steps as well. So I think that’s one of the biggest impacts how people walk away and think great, these conversations that I’ve always wanted to have with my people, that I’ve wanted to reach out, I wanted to support, I just wasn’t sure how to do it or if I was going to make things worse, they always walk away thinking yep, now I can do that.
I think the elements that have been most valuable is the confidence building, approaching and structuring conversations, and how to do that. I think also the self-awareness that our leaders have as well. It is one thing to support others on a mental health journey, any point of time, but we all know that at any point in time any one of us may experience a mental health condition, or illness or episode, so it’s good for our leaders to be able to have the self-awareness to identify that in themselves as well.
The other great thing is a shared experience, the ability to sort of realize that, you know, none of us are alone in this. We can all work together. We’ve all got shared stories and experiences that we can draw from as well.
I definitely recommend Blooming Minds. The proof is in the pudding, I think, and we’ve had a very long relationship with Blooming Minds. We have been with Blooming Minds for about 10 years now, and throughout that whole time they have been able to support us, partner with us, grow and adapt with our business, understand our business needs.
I’ve always had consistent feedback from all levels of people leaders, from our very new starters to our very experienced executives, that they just really love the sessions, they have been relatable. And they have walked away with a lot of awareness and confidence in the tools and strategies that they’ve been given to really support the business and the individuals in the business as well.
I recommend Blooming Minds for anyone that is either starting the journey with raising mental health awareness and building confidence in the business, right through to more mature businesses that are ready for sort of the next level up and tier 2 and tier 3 of really building mentally healthy workplaces.
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