Good Mental Health is Good for Business – My Model for Managing Mental Health in the Workplace Part 2

In my last post, I introduced my © 9 Point Approach for Managing Mental Health in the Workplace. This model provides a holistic approach to managing mental health in the workplace by minimising workplace risk factors and maximising potential protective actions. I will now discuss the first 2 points of the model.

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Before you implement any initiative into your workplace it is imperative that you have commitment from key stakeholders, including all levels of management. Leadership support and commitment will set the tone and direction of your mental health strategies.

The policy document:

  • * should align with the organisations mission and vision
  • * support the short and long term organisation goals
  • * link to other policies such as occupational health and safety, equal employment opportunity, bullying and harassment and conflict resolution.
  • * shoe commitment to developing the skills of managers and leaders that promote mental health.

I strongly encourage organisations to consult with employees and other stakeholders so that there is “buy in” across all levels. Management must also allocate resources so that everyone is aware of the policy and enabled to put those skills into practice. New employees must be made aware of the policy at their induction.

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An ideal mental health and wellbeing strategy should be systematically implemented and evaluated and should cover the following:

  • the development of a positive work environment that supports and encourages mental health
  • balancing job demands with job control
  • appropriately rewarding employee’s efforts
  • creating a fair workplace
  • provision of workplace supports
  • effective management of performance issues
  • provision of training to develop management and leadership skills
  • supportive change management processes
  • provision of mental health education.
  • involves all employees and recognises the needs, preferences and attitudes of different employees (e.g. by ethnicity, gender, literacy level).
  • integrate mental health within the business broader processes, it should not be seen as an “added project”.

We have recommended to our larger clients that they, consider establishing an implementation committee, members of which are selected from across the organisation and who will be responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating the strategy.

I will discuss Points 3 and 4 in my next post.

About the Author

I am the principal of Cartec Consulting an HR / OD company that assists business to align their people with the business strategy.

Contact me via email on cliff@cartec.com.au or mobile on 0400 088 627