Mental health in the workplace is the theme of World Mental Health Day 2017. World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues, reducing stigma and mobilizing efforts in support of better mental health.
During our adult lives, a large proportion of our time is spent at work. Our experience in the workplace is one of the factors determining our overall wellbeing. Employers and managers who put in place workplace initiatives to promote mental health and to support employees who have mental disorders see gains not only in the health of their employees but also in their productivity at work.
When we fell unwell physically we see a doctor and seek help, equally when we feel unwell emotionally we should also seek help in the same way. When we do this ourselves and encourage others we help to normalise these matters and reduce the stigma associated with mental health concerns.
Please talk about mental health in your workplace today and perhaps discuss some strategies which could be put in place to better support the mental health and wellbeing of yourself and your colleagues. Together we can create healthy workplaces.
Promote mental health by developing the positive aspects of work and the strengths of employees.
Address mental health problems regardless of cause.
Talk to your manager about any concerns you may have in the workplace or regarding support you may require
Be aware of others and ask if they are ok
Awareness of the workplace environment and how it can be adapted to promote better mental health for different employees.
Understanding the opportunities and needs of individual employees, in helping to develop better policies for workplace mental health.
Take steps towards good health such as a healthy work-life balance, regular exercise, eat a well-balanced nutritious diet, maintain social interaction and reduce use of alcohol and drugs.
Awareness of sources of support and where people can find help.
Interventions and good practices that protect and promote mental health in the workplace include:
implementation and enforcement of health and safety policies and practices, including identification of distress, harmful use of psychoactive substances and illness and providing resources to manage them;
informing staff that support is available;
involving employees in decision-making, conveying a feeling of control and participation; organisational practices that support a healthy work-life balance;
programmes for career development of employees; and
recognising and rewarding the contribution of employees.
Gippsland Southern Health Service offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to all of its employees. This service is free of charge and completely confidential. Staff have access to fully trained psychologists through Davidson Trahaire Corpsych who can assist with any issues whether they are work related or not. Many staff have used this service to assist with work matters, anxiety stress or depression, managing conflict, family issues, financial issues, relationship issues or other mental health concerns. Please call 1300 360 364 to arrange an appointment.
The Nursing and Midwifery health Program provides mental health support to nurses who may be experiencing any issues, feeling overwhelmed, feeling sad, having issues with alcohol or drug use. The NMHP is made up of mental health nurses and if fully funded to provide a free service to all nurses to help them to take control of their health.
If you would like further information or support, there are many excellent resources to support and maintain mental health at the following link.