Learn more about mental health in the workplace

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About

Learn more about how mental health difficulties can impact the workplace

How To

Learn how to better manage mental health in your workplace

Support

Learn what support you have access to and what you can offer your staff

Resources

View extra resources that you and your staff can use to help eachother

Workplace Health Assistant

Role playing game

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About

Learn more about how mental health difficulties can impact the workplace

How To

Learn how to better manage mental health in your workplace

Support

Learn what support you have access to and what you can offer your staff

Resources

View extra resources that you and your staff can use to help eachother

Workplace Health Assistant

Role playing game

About

What is the impact on the team?

When a staff member experiences a mental health concern, it can affect the whole team.

Managers can

About

Common barriers to remaining at or returning to work include:

About

Employer rights and responsibilities

Employer responsibilities include:

How To

Practical strategies to address barriers:

Having the support of a manager or supervisor is the most crucial factor. You can demonstrate this by:

How To

How to manage risks:

Common risks to mental health in the workplace include job stress, bullying, harassment and workplace trauma. These should be actively managed by eliminating or minimising the risks as far as is reasonable. This may include considering the following:

An example of risk assessment reduction may include if an employee needs to take medication which may impair their concentration and they are responsible for driving a company vehicle. The risk to the employee, the public and the company is potentially quite high. Assessing this risk may include obtaining permission from the employee to discuss the medication and its impact with their treating health professional. The health professional may then recommend the employee take the medication at a time when it is least likely to impact their performance. Alternatively, if this is not possible, you may be able to discuss with the employee alternative duties which they may perform in the office which will not require operating a vehicle or machinery.

How To

Making reasonable adjustments:

For many workers experiencing a mental health condition, small changes to the working environment will be enough to ensure they have equal opportunity to continue in their job. Reasonable adjustments can include:

The individual situation will dictate what kind of adjustments are reasonable. In most cases the employee will be able to identify what changes are required. If the suggested adjustments would require unreasonable hardship there is no obligation to implement them.

How To

How to develop a plan

When an employee has a mental health concern you may need to develop a plan to help them stay or return to work. This requires clarity of roles, responsibilities and strategies to support their recovery. Some basic steps include:

1. Talk

2. Define

3. Evaluate

How To

How to support a colleague

How To

What to do and what not to do

Do:

Do not:

How To

How to plan the conversation

Planning the conversation:

When you’re preparing to approach someone, it can be helpful to:

What to say?

Whether you’re a manager concerned about someone in your team or speaking to another colleague, the following tips will help you have the conversation. Don’t worry if you don’t quite know what to say. Just by being supportive and listening, you’re helping to make a difference.    

How to start

Listen Carefully

Respond

Think about the best way to respond. You can’t fix things, but you can help them along the way. You might:

What to do next

Look after yourself

Unexpected outcome

Support

Supporting a colleague / worker

There are plenty of positive things you can do if someone you work with is going through a tough time.

What to do

What not to do

Support

Where to find support for depression and anxiety

Support

Supporting Someone at Risk of Suicide

If you’re concerned about someone at work:

Support

For someone returning to work after a suicide attempt

Someone returning to work after a suicide attempt is likely to feel isolated and alone. Any genuine care and concern that you can offer could make a real difference, helping them feel connected and valued.

People who have attempted suicide may or may not want to talk to their colleagues about what has happened straight away, if at all. If not, it is important to respect their choice, but you can still make it clear you're there for them if they do want to talk about it. 

Things to remember

Resources

Available support pathways

If you’re worried about a colleague, there's a range of resources you can refer them to.

Useful contacts include:

Resources

Further resources

An excellent resource for ways to phrase things in these conversations is:

Talking to someone you are worried about on Beyondblue.

An excellent resource for identifying when someone may be struggling and understanding common mental health issues is:

How To Ask Staff "R U OK?": A Practical Guide for the Workplace booklet.

Taking Care of Yourself at Work: Anxiety and Depression.

Good resources for strategies on how to manage an employee at work

Supporting Someone At Work flyer.

Great resource for case examples of mental illness in workplace

2010 Workers with Mental Illness: a Practical Guide for Managers from the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Having a conversation: discussing mental health in the workplace interactive activity from Beyondblue.

Support

Where To From Here?

Things to do after an initial talk

Assist

Help Amy to make contact with the appropriate person in HR

Suggest Amy makes an appointment with her GP to discuss how she has been feeling.

Reassure

Reassure Amy of her privacy – you won’t tell anyone specific details unless she wants you to.

Don’t pretend this never happened – respect her privacy but continue to demonstrate that you are aware of the situation and that you care.

Support

Check in with Amy regularly – agree to how she would feel most comfortable doing this.

Provide Amy with resources for support such as the Beyond Blue website.

Ask Amy how her GP appointment went.

Top Tips

  • Remember to show you are listening with your body too:
    • Make eye contact.
    • Turn your body to face the person.
  • Avoid distractions like mobile phones and emails while talking.
  • Accept whatever they say.
  • Check back with the person that you have understood them correctly.
  • Don’t probe unnecessarily.
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