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Smarter work design, better work cultures and building individual resilience are the top three ways to create a mentally healthy workplace.

According to the report, ‘Developing a Mentally Healthy Workplace: A review of the literature’, smarter work design means improving flexibility of working hours, encouraging a better work culture through a safe and positive work climate, and building individual resilience by providing coaching and mentoring, among other activities.

The report says three other key workplace mental health initiatives include promoting and facilitating early help-seeking, supporting recovery, and increasing awareness of workplace mental health issues.

Importantly, the report notes that to establish and maintain a mentally healthy workplace, there must be commitment, leadership and support from management, a situational analysis to determine what works, identification and implementation of a workplace mental health strategy, and a review of the outcomes.

Earlier this week, the Chair of the National Mental Health Commission, Professor Allan Fels, commented on the release of the report.

“The opportunity cost of not promoting good mental health at work, and not supporting people who have mental illness or care for others who do is … very, very high,” he said in a media statement.

“Nonetheless, almost all of us have witnessed people and practices in the workplace that ignore the needs of individuals or sometimes the whole team, and the resulting impacts such as staff turnover, absenteeism, low productivity and poor morale.”

For more details visit the report and Professor Fels

Published on 4 December 2014 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin

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