Six Steps to tie mental health and well-being program into your workplace culture

Mental health illness

Employee mental health and well-being programs benefit staff and employers. Happy and healthy employees are identified to be productive, have less absenteeism due to injury or illness, have improved teamwork and communication. Mental health and well-being program is a high priority for employers and employees.  Mental Health Initiative needs to be implemented sufficiently, effectively, and embedded in the culture of your organisation.

Step 1 Assess, acknowledge and understand the culture

There are many ways to assess organisational culture. You can utilise surveys, consult your workers, and analyse historical data of your organisation. Once you do your groundwork, you can acknowledge what you find.

Evolving a culture first approach means concentrating employee’s quality of life which includes physical, mental, social, emotional and financial health. Focusing on employee’s mental health is not about convincing employees to attend a mental health awareness program because it is what the organisation wants and “everyone is doing it”. It is about involving employees, encourage them to talk about mental health and support one another.

Understanding the organisational culture will help the organisation to identify the changes that need to be part of mental health initiative.

Step 2 Commitment from the executives

Work closely with executives. A clear understanding of the mental health and wellbeing program’s aims, expectations and resource requirements, will influence the executive’s commitment and support. Culture is modelled on behaviour. Executive’s participation with the mental health and wellbeing program will encourage other employees to take part in the program.

Step 3 Kick off mental health and wellbeing in a way that engages employees.

In order to obtain support from workers, highlight the benefits of the mental health and wellbeing program in a clear and direct way, so that employees understand what they will gain from the program initiative. Engagement is addressed as a key element in employee happiness and productivity.

Step 4 Openly tie together your unique culture with mental health and wellbeing

Promote the program and consider how it will meet the needs of every worker in your organisation. Say things as “We care about you, so we are training all our workers for the mental health awareness, now focused on your mental health and wellbeing”, “we are here to support you, you are not alone”

Step 5 Be consistent with your message

This step is important, in order to maximise participation, ensure there is a consistent promotion and encourage employees to participate. Consider what incentives you could offer. Use newsletters, blogs, toolbox meetings, social media, and other channels for your important news. Promote the same message across all platforms.

So, find out your culturally relevant mental health and well-being message, put on your marketing hat, share it across all platforms, and stick to it.

Step 6 Evaluate your culture periodically

In order to measure the benefits of the program and to see if any modifications may be needed, evaluate the culture. What if the program is not working? Employees are not happy? Morale is down?

Then talk to your employees and find out why the program is not working. What if the program is working and all the employees are happy, morale is high, productivity increased, absenteeism is dropped down. Keep up the good work, and continue to promote mental health and wellbeing messages and make changes along the way where needed.

Do you need more information?  

WHS and Training Compliance, we understand the impacts of mental illness to your employee, their families, their work and your business. We are here to support your business to implement mental health initiative.  We provide Mental Health First Aid training Brisbane North, Toowoomba, and Townsville. Our training schedule will assist you with the venues and dates. If you would like us to provide onsite Standard Mental Health First Aid training, we can travel across Australia. Contact our friendly team to assist you.

More information on our Mental Health First Aid Trainer, instructor profile, is available at Mental Health First Aid Australia

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