AUSTRALIA: How to build a mentally healthy workplace

March 18, 2016

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

In the Black

Mental health advocates and researchers are working with business leaders to develop strategies to improve mental health and well-being among their employees. Research conducted for the Australian organization beyondblue demonstrated that there is a great need to develop new programs and that these programs can create a positive financial return. Workplace leaders need to actively support programs that not only educate all employees about mental health issues and provide services and resources but also reduce stigma surrounding mental illness and facilitate optimal wellbeing. “For a truly mentally healthy workplace, you need a framework that extends from proactive prevention through to intervention and treatment,” said Perth-based organizational psychologist Stephen McDonald. According to Nick Arvanitis, head of research and resource development at beyondblue, “Everyone benefits when organizations engage employees, involve them in decision-making and address workplace stressors.” To help begin the process, this article lists six strategies for building a mentally healthy workplace and nine suggestions for talking with an employee about his or her mental health condition.

Spark Extra! Check out these two resources for developing workplace mental health programs: Working Minds and Value Options: Strategy in Workplace Suicide Prevention.