Truly successful organisations programs will reflect the synergies that can be garnered from:
- Reducing work-related risks to mental health, by considering primary (job demands), secondary (strategies to improve stress responses) and tertiary (treatment) interventions.
- Promoting the positive aspects of work and organisational culture, by proactively rewarding employee capabilities, focusing on strengths, modelling positive leadership practices, ensuring that work is meaningful and that there is a positive organisational culture
- Responding to mental illness, regardless of the cause. This may involve providing psychoeducation to improve mental health literacy, or developing early intervention skills to ensure employees know they can ask for health. This should also involve shifting attitudes and removing stigmas around mental illness, to improve the overall organisational culture.
By taking this integrated approach, organisations can avoid focusing on individual cases in a reactive way, and rather, can look at the organisation as a whole, with a much wider net of support.
While many workplaces are yet to become environments where employees are predominantly healthy, happy and supportive, the promise is becoming less elusive, and the rewards of doing so are clear. By implementing an integrated approach that considers prevention and promotion of positive mental health, and effective, holistic strategies around responding to mental illness – we can begin to move the needle.
If you are looking for support in developing employee wellbeing programs and cultures to improve the mental health of your employees and your organisation, please reach out today.
1 Workplace mental health: developing an integrated intervention approach, BMC Psychiatry, 14, 131, LaMontagne, AD., Martin A., Page, KM, Reavley NJ., Noblet,AJ., Keegel, T and Smith, PM (2014).