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HR Managers and the Mental Health Stigma
March 15, 2019 by Angie Paskevicius
If you are a Manager of HR or Learning & Development, you will agree that employee mental wellness presents quite the dilemma.
You may be aware of the alarming statistics – that 1 in 5 Australians experience a mental illness every year. Or that we lose 6 Australians to suicide every day. Or that the direct cost to Australian industry exceeds $4 billion each year.
On the positive side. Good workplace initiatives can make a difference as revealed in PwC’s Return on Investment Analysis: Employers can expect an average return of $2.30 for every $1 invested in creating a mentally healthy workplace.
So it’s evident that something needs to be done.
However, it’s certainly not a walk in the park. Managers often tell me that they spend all this time, effort and money organising information sessions, and not everyone attends.
“I’m too busy”, or “work priorities”, or “urgent meeting” are often the excuses.
You could find yourself in a no-win situation. You know that good mental health initiatives can help improve employee wellness and productivity. But employees are hesitant to attend because of stigma, time and other priorities.
At Holyoake, we have grappled with this conundrum as well. While some organisations have experienced the benefits of our Wellbeing@Work information sessions, many others have shied away because of the reasons mentioned above.
After consulting with several organisations and managers, we have developed an alternative that addresses these issues. It’s called the Wellbeing@Work Video Series.
Think about it. Would an employee attend a mental wellness session in the presence of others, or would he/she prefer to watch an information video privately?
You now have the flexibility to offer your employees the freedom to participate in an effective mental wellness initiative whenever and wherever they choose to.
If your employees are scattered across multiple offices, or based inter-state or FIFO, this works a treat. All you have to do is provide the username and password along with a deadline to view the videos.
How will you know if your employees have watched the videos? Each video has a questionnaire which viewers need to answer. This ensures that they have watched the videos and have assimilated key messages. Holyoake will provide quarterly reports of the number of views and questionnaire responses.
There’s an added bonus as well. These videos are far more economical compared to face to face presentations. An annual licence provides unlimited views for a year.
Our main objective is to help you improve employee mental wellness. If each organisation does this, we can collectively reduce the alarming mental health statistics that is plaguing our country today.