Research shows that viral pandemics often cause prolonged psychosocial impacts that are pervasive and severe. Indeed, the coronavirus crisis has already caused an increase of anxiety and depression in Australians, with about 30% of adults reporting moderate to high levels. Uncertainty, changing routines and social isolation are just a few factors that contribute to mental ill-health in times of crisis.
As this number is expected to rise, workplaces have a responsibility to help flatten the ‘second curve’ of mental ill-health. Furthermore, work-related mental health conditions cost employers approximately $543 million a year in compensation claims – not to mention the cost of absenteeism, increase in staff turnover, drop in productivity and lack of engagement.
Workplace Mental Health Masterclass 2020 will inspire workplaces to make mentally healthy work ‘business as usual’. This one day virtual workshop will support attendees in their development of wellbeing strategies in their own workplaces by undertaking strategic planning and implementation. By collaborating with employees, encouraging open dialogues, communicating effectively, and supporting staff with mental health conditions, workplaces can do their part in ensuring the safety of Australians in the aftermath of COVID-19. Furthermore, they can better fulfill their legal obligations related to mental health in the workplace and decrease business costs associated with mental ill-health.
In this session, Sandene Chetwynd will explore how to transform workplace culture and prioritise mentally healthy workforce relations. While spotlighting the role of workplace leaders in cultural shifts, Sandene will provide implementable strategies on how to facilitate consultation and co-design of mental health strategies with staff. Attendees will understand how to increase the productivity and engagement of workforces by ensuring they are active participants in mental health strategy design.
In this session, Kristina Billings will provide an overview of the attributes of mentally healthy workplaces. As the founder of Health at Work, she will provide advice about how workplace leaders and HR personnel might identify and implement such characteristics through strategic planning. Best-practice methods of communication will be explored, providing implementable strategies tailored for both on-site and remote workforces.
In this session, Rebecca Thomas will advise on the importance of effective and sensitive communication regarding workplace mental health. By promoting open communication with employees in their RAW (Recovery at Work) and RTW (Return to Work), participants can ensure the ongoing support of staff in their mental health. Furthermore, by learning how to identify and monitor psychosocial hazards in the workplace, attendees will minimise risks to psychosocial health, reduce workplace liability in Workers Compensation Claims, and ensure better compliance of WHS (Workplace Health and Safety) requirements.