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How to create a mentally health workplace

Have you ever taken a “mental health” day at work? According to Heads Up, the equivalent of 1.1 million sick days are taken each year for mental health reasons, costing Australian businesses up to $6.1B. 

 It’s no surprise that businesses are now investing more in making workplaces that support mental health, and creating a mentally healthy workplace for their employees.

Whether you’re a manager or peer, here are five tips on how you can contribute to establishing a healthier place to work.

Is my workplace a mental-health friendly place to work?

In this new workplace reality where we are constantly connected to a smart device, working in a never-sleeping global economy, people are valuing workplaces that create safe spaces and support their mental health more than ever. Whether you’re seeking a new job, or want to know how your current organisation measures up, here are a few key signs that your work is doing things right.

Mental Health in the Workplace – Poor Work Environments

Given that the majority of adults spend more time at work than elsewhere, the workplace is a major contributor to people’s physical and mental health. More and more we are hearing about workplace mental health. There is such a lot of information out there, on a whole bunch of topics. 

We want to dive into the issue of mental health in the workplace, and break it down each week.

Suicide & Suicidal Thoughts

In Australia 1 out of 5 adults experience some form of mental illness, with many not receiving professional assistance. Around 2,800 Australians die from suicide each year, and for every one of those, up to 20 people attempt suicide. However, with intervention, support from family and friends, effective treatment and time, many people who have had suicidal thoughts, or attempted suicides can have long, fulfilling and productive lives. 

Accredited Mental Health First Aiders can play a part to provide early intervention, referrals to relevant professionals, ongoing support and working together to ensure someone’s safety during a crisis.

Safety Plans

Safety plans – what they are, who can make one and why creating a safety plan for someone who is suicidal is important. 

A safety plan is for people to use when they are feeling unsafe or suicidal – a plan to refer to and remind themselves of reasons to live, family and friends they can talk to, ideas of activities to do when they’re alone to aid when they are vulnerable.

Resources

Mental health problems affect one in five Adult Australians. Many people experience a crisis situation where they need additional support. Knowing where to go for immediate support and assistance is really important.

Recovery

We teach Recovery as a key mental-health principle in our mental health first aid training, and show how people can support others using a recovery oriented approach. It is really important to us, and we use a recovery oriented approach when providing support coordination.

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