Inside advice on decreasing psychological injury

HRD chats to three employers who explain their companies’ initiatives to support mentally healthy workforces

HRD recently spoke to employers from three different industries to discuss how they were addressing and minimising the risk of psychological injury in their workplaces.


According to Ken Buckley, CEO at Healthworks, organisations are realising that one-off interventions are not sufficient to preventing psychological injury.

“Forward-thinking organisations are developing whole wellness frameworks to build positive, open cultures where employees feel that their mental health is supported and protected,” he said.

“Employers are beginning to understand that there’s limited benefit in improving individual employees’ health if they’re working in an unhealthy organisational culture.”

Buckley added that although there are “pockets of industries” with an over-demanding culture, workplaces are increasingly looking for strategies to build a healthy culture.

“These can start small and grow incrementally, but need to be genuine and supported from the top down,” he said.


Geoff Dutallis, group head of sustainability at Lendlease, said that his company was investigating how their working environment contributes to wellbeing.

“Our Global Health Workplace Insights Assessment measured the health of Lendlease’s 12,600 employees,” he said. “In Australia, it revealed that 9% of employees were likely experiencing work-related stress and 16% were at high risk of developing depression.”

He explained that Lendlease have deployed a Health and Wellbeing strategy, which delivers programs on employee health.

These include preventative measures, such as mindfulness and resilience training plus active intervention and support seen in programs like Mental Health First Aid and the company’s return-to-work program, Circle of Care.

The company’s CEO and managing director Steve McCann is also an ambassador of the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance Initiative, ‘Heads Up’, in partnership with beyondblue.

The Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation

At the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation, efforts are being made to support psychologically healthy workplaces in the legal profession.

“We’ve introduced the TJMF Psychological Wellbeing Guidelines for the Legal Profession,” explained firm director Jeremy Hyman.

“Their purpose is to provide a resource for those within the Australian legal profession by using evidence-based approaches to promote a psychologically healthy workplace.”

Hyman added that the guidelines are intended to support lawyers, law firms and others working in the profession to raise awareness of mental health issues. The guidelines were also designed to understand the initiatives and methods of management that assist in the creation of psychologically healthy workplaces.

“[The guidelines] also recognise the value of providing specific guidance tailored to the particular workplace issues that arise in the legal profession,” he said.
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