WorkSafe Victoria funds mental health initiatives

Employers are encouraged to bring 'sustainable change' in mental health wellness

WorkSafe Victoria funds mental health initiatives

WorkSafe Victoria has recently announced that it had completed the funding of its initiatives to address mental health issues in Victorian workplaces. According to a media release, the programs launched in its Mental Health Improvement Fund fund triggered the first round of funding in its WorkWell program.

The said fund offers large-scale investment to organisations and industry groups to promote mental health and wellbeing, and prevent mental injury.

"Across the WorkWell program, we're seeing positive trends among employers for improving knowledge, attitudes and confidence in identifying and addressing mental health issues; and practice changes in leaders, networks and workplaces,” WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety Narelle Beer said in a statement.

Beer said the programs funded during round one target vulnerable worker groups like young and ageing workers, frontline workers, and transitioning industries.

"Working in partnership with industry means we're creating industry-wide, sustainable change to address the work-related factors that contribute to stress at work," Beer said.

The recently funded projects include the Mental Health Essentials Program which provides free mental health training and consulting to assist small and medium-sized businesses to support the mental health of young workers.

Another project is the Perinatal Workplace Wellbeing Program which supports expectant and new parents adjusting to new work-life stages.

"This is just the start – another 20 programs funded through second and third round grants are already underway, and we’ll be using evidence from across the WorkWell program to build a blueprint for mentally healthy Victorian workplaces," Beer added.

A recent outcome report from the WorkWell programs shows that participating businesses see “favourable outcomes,” such as reduced absenteeism, increased likelihood of staff retention and increased job performance.

According to WorkSafe Victoria, since its launch in May 2017, WorkWell has achieved “extensive engagement,” with more than 12,400 workplaces and 55,900 individual participants. It added that its initiatives could reach almost three million Victorian workers.

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