Promoting mental health
All workers can participate in activities that promote mental health.
How do you reach each person at the right time, in a way that best meets their needs?
Every workplace, team and person is unique, so finding ways to appropriately tailor and individualise programs helps improve mental health across your workplace and has the most far-reaching social and financial impact possible.
Businesses can achieve a return of up to $4 for every $1 they invest in workplace health promotion1.
This really adds up. Let’s do the maths.
A holistic approach
Looking for ways to make your workplace mentally healthy?
Take an integrated approach that looks at the big picture and how everything you do fits together to support mental health in your workplace. An approach that2:
- raises awareness of mental health and supports learning
- promotes healthy ways of working and supportive work environments
- promotes a positive and inclusive culture
- builds personal and organisational resilience
- encourages participation in workplace health and wellbeing programs
- encourages use of support services and resources
- promotes healthy lifestyles.
See how this small business promotes and supports mental health in their workplace.
Where to start taking action
This all sounds great, right? But deciding where to start can be difficult. It can help to begin with small improvements and build from there.
Consider starting with some simple activities, with a small investment. Over time, develop a comprehensive mental health and wellbeing program with a bigger investment. And watch the benefits for your business grow.
You’ll find that some activities are easy, for example:
- Circulate information such as fact sheets, e-newsletters, intranet or websites, online resources and posters that promote positive mental health.
- Organise health events and social functions for workers and their families to raise awareness of mental health and to build social networks and support. For example, you can build an event out of R U OK? Day, register as a team for fun runs or step challenges or use positive informal social events to stay connected.
- Talk about mental health with your team regularly and consider using toolbox talks, Let’s talk fact sheets, webinars or podcasts like those from Safe Work Australia, Heads Up or the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health; as a conversation starter.
Other activities could include:
- introducing mental health training to raise awareness
- building knowledge and skills to stay mentally fit with training, tools and resources that are supported by evidence e.g. with eHealth apps, mindfulness and physical activity programs
- conducting a staff satisfaction survey to gather feedback on areas of concern and ideas about how to create a workplace that supports mental health.
This website contains content and links to help you promote mental health at work. Here are some more resources to get you started:
- The Heads Up communications pack can help managers develop their own mental health plan.
- Get Healthy at Work also offers support, tips and resources to help you promote healthy habits at work.
- Check out five ways to wellbeing from SuperFriend to help you and others stay mentally fit at work.
- Ahead for Business also have mental health and wellbeing resources tailored for small business owners.
- UTS & The University of Sydney, Mentally healthy workplaces: a return-on-investment study, 2017
- ACT Government Healthier Work, Guide to Promoting Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace, 2012