The initiative titled ‘Mind Your Head’ (MYH) is funded by EML’s Mutual Benefits Program and is a collaboration between the ACTU and EML, supported by WorkSafe’s WorkWell Mental Health Improvement Fund.
The objective of MYH was to create greater awareness of mental health issues that arise from workplace stressors and the significant impact this can have on people and businesses. And more importantly to provide practical tools and resources to identify and manage workplace mental health hazards when they appear – preventing injuries before they occur.
We teamed up with the ACTU, which consists of 38 unions, representing about 1.8 million workers and their families to engage, educate, enlist and positively impact their lives.
A snapshot of the impact of mental health issues in the workplace
Read the report here.
The aim of the campaign was to:
- Educate and empower employees and employers to work together to prevent workplace mental health injuries
- Develop and build a movement that uses digital communication to inform workers about mental health hazards and how to prevent them
- Position the campaign as a trusted voice by leveraging events to attract media attention, boosting awareness of the issue and drawing the attention of decision makers
Since we launched, the campaign has evolved to include two connected aspects:
- An on-the-ground effort to educate workers and managers at targeted workplaces
- A scalable digital campaign centred around the website, www.mindyourhead.org.au which builds broader awareness and creates an online network of supporters – who promote the campaign on our behalf and become leads for on-the-ground awareness
MYH was developed with a specific set of principles that focused on:
- Raising the priority of mental health and safety to sit equal to the treatment of physical health and safety in the workplace
- Educating and developing workers, HSRs, Managers and Leaders to understand work-related mental health risk factors and the relationship with WHS
- Designing tools and resources for workplaces to create mentally safe systems of work
- Facilitating engagement with workers, HSRs, Managers and Leaders to work together to create mentally healthy work
- Reviewing and analysing interventions to determine best practice and create a community that learns from each other
MYH’s pilot program is delivered by the University of South Australia’s CWeX team, led by Professor Maureen Dollard and the Opus Centre for Psychosocial Risk, led by Dr Tessa Bailey, using their world-renowned Psychosocial Safety Climate.
The tailored workplace intervention action plan engages all levels of management, WHS representatives, union representatives and employees to assess the workplace’s mental health hazards and identify changes.
Now, more than a year since we embarked on this joint project, the results are in and very encouraging:
- 12 employers have signed onto MYH, effectively providing mental health support to over 1,300 workers
- Educational activities consisting of HSR and Manager training sessions, leadership briefings and intervention workshops have engaged over 100 workplace leaders
- There are currently 3,454 subscribers in the MYH supporter database
Additionally, MYH has received funding in round three of the WorkSafe WorkWell Mental Health Improvement Fund.
Encouraged by the success of the initiative, work has now begun on developing specialised websites for each participating workplace to provide access to employees and employers. We will continue reaching out to educate and inform employers about the type of mental health hazards that exist in a workplace context.
To take action to protect workplace mental health, please sign up by visiting www.mindyourhead.org.au