Building a Mentally Healthy Workplace

Building a Mentally Healthy Workplace

Published:
April 26, 2022
Blog Posts
If you're a home care manager, it's more important than ever to build a mentally healthy workplace for your team.

COVID, adverse events and high turnover. Ensuring a mentally healthy workplace is more important than ever.  It involves making decisions and taking action that proactively shapes how individuals experience work.

The new NWI Blueprint provides much needed guidance for businesses on how to protect, respond and promote mental health workplaces.

(Access the Blueprint HERE).

Below are the key points relevant to your Home Care business.

Protect

Home Care organisations have legal obligations related to work health and safety that include psychological health. Taking reasonably practicable steps to identify and manage “psychosocial hazards’ paying particular attention to how work is designed and managed, the work environment and equipment, interactions with others or the types of tasks required.

Some things to try:

  • Implement practical approaches to identify and manage ‘psychosocial hazards’
  • Create an environment where people feel safe to raise concerns
  • Provide resilience training

Respond

All of us experience ups and downs throughout our working lives because of life circumstances, caring responsibilities or mental ill-health. Mentally healthy workplaces can be a source of comfort and support. Every organisation can build capability to identify and respond to support people experiencing mental ill-health or distress.

Things to try:

  • Understand your legal requirements related to work health and safety, workers’ compensation, workplace relations, privacy and discrimination.
  • Develop strategies to reduce the stigma of talking about mental ill-health and distress
  • Provide mental health first aid training to your team

Promote

Workplaces that promote strong workplace relationships, purposeful work and provide opportunities for personal and professional development help people thrive and function at their best.

Things to try:

  • Create meaningful opportunities for personal and professional growth
  • Recognise and reward positive behaviours
  • Kickstart your mentally healthy workplace by looking after yourself. Take the mental check-up or business stress test here. https://aheadforbusiness.org.au/check-ups

Find out more

Obligations and rights:

  • Fair Work Australia - Fairwork.gov.au
  • Australian Human Rights Commission - Humanrighgts.gov.au
  • Safe Work Australia - Safeworkasutralia.gov.au
  • Office of Australian Information Commissioner - Oaic.gov.au

Supporting mentally healthy businesses:

  • National Workplace Initiative - https://www.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au/mental-health-reform/national-workplace-initiative
  • Ahead for Business - Aheadforbusiness.org.au
  • My Business Health - asbfeo.gov.au/my-business-health/home

If you or someone you know needs support, you can reach out 24/7 to Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636) or Lifeline (13 11 14). In an emergency, please call 000.

Creating mentally healthy workplaces takes time. Small steps and bold leadership can help your workplace thrive.

Resource is written by Karen Larsen-Troung.
Karen is an experienced health and social care researcher with over 15 years experience working with industry partners in home care, residential aged care and other community settings. Karen is passionate about improving the care experience, quality of life and health outcomes for clients and their carers, especially those with complex needs. Karen is privileged to bring her knowledge of the aged care system and client/carer experiences to help DSC Software make a real difference in the home care industry.

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