The Australian Public Service (APS) has just released its new guide across the country which aims to promote mental health and wellbeing among employees. The guide is entitled “Working Together: Promoting mental health and wellbeing at work”.
The new guide is a collaborative effort between the Australian Public Service and Comcare who want to promote mental health among workers, thereby promoting productivity. In fact the organisations want to encourage workplaces to adopt positive attitudes that can respond appropriately to mental ill health at work, whereas at the moment many workplaces do not know how to deal with this issue.
According to the media release on The Australian Public Service website the guide will cover the following topics:
- How to create respectful workplaces
- Talking about mental health
- Managing risks to prevent harm
- Recognising when help is needed
- Supporting return to work.
The guide is a key initiative of the Australian Public Service Commission’s As One—APS Disability Employment Strategy.
This guide, Working Together: Promoting mental health and wellbeing at work, is a key initiative of As One—APS Disability Employment Strategy. The guide aims to empower managers and employees to work together to build inclusive workplace cultures and effective systems for promoting mental health in the Australian Public Service (APS).
We will all be touched by mental ill health at some stage in our lives and some of us live with a mental health condition. Leaders and managers must build their levels of confidence around mental health issues to better include people with mental ill health in our teams, and to enable appropriate support of employees during illness and recovery.
The guidance aims to address two basic aspects of this problem, namely addressing the technical aspects of dealing with mental health among workers as well as cultural aspects of dealing with the issue.
The technical side includes guidance on improving processes and procedures, including early intervention among workers suffering from mental health issues. The cultural aspects include what attitudinal and behavioural changes to look out for and expect and how to understand and connect with each other in the workplace.
The APS goes on to explain that while the technical changes can be implemented into workplace policies quite quickly and relatively seamlessly, changing the culture of the workplace and people’s attitudes may take more time and sensitivity.
The APS also goes on to explain that the guidance will only be effective if it is adopted correctly, with people in workplaces utilising perseverance, courage, commitment and leadership.
According to the APS it is in everyone’s best interest to adopt this guide, employers, clients and employees all benefit from greater productivity, improved workforce participation and an increase in social inclusion. Workers who are mentally and physically healthy are more happy and productive. Mental health issues in our workplaces have become an increasing problem however little understanding exists about how to deal with these hazards in workplaces.