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Mental health: A new frontier in employee safety

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HC Online | 13 Mar 2012, 12:00 AM Agree 0
If an employee works his or herself into a state of depression and anxiety, because they are dedicated and enthusiastic, or because of time pressures and workload, there may be no defence for an employer facing legal action. Robin Young outlines the duty of care for employers.
  • De Backman-Hoyle | 13 Mar 2012, 05:05 PM Agree 0
    Thank you Robin for raising such an important topic, as a mental health first aid instructor with a target audience of middle managers I often find even when managers are provided with the current legislation and regulations on the mental health risk factors within the organisational settings there isn't the adequate skills training on how to have those difficult conversations related to mental health deterioration at work .
    I takes a business with a culture of courage to prepare and train staff about mental health illnesses and provide a safe psychological environment as an alternative.

    We are offering three complimentary 12 hr mental health training programs for NFP within the next six months as part of our corporate contribution pledge. If you know of a NFP that could benefit from MHFA within their workplace and that can provide a suitable training venue please put them in contact with us this is a substantial saving for a NFP.

    De Backman-Hoyle
  • Bernie Althofer | 14 Mar 2012, 10:34 AM Agree 0
    Over the years I have spoken to a number of people about workplace bullying and the psychological trauma they have experienced. The level of angst and frustration coming from them about how they are viewed because unlike a physical injury, a psychological injury is much harder to 'see'.

    When organisations have the courage to acknowledge the 'invisible' injuries being caused to workers at all levels, then perhaps those workers who have a mental health issue will feel more confident in coming forward.

    At the moment, it seems that some people believe that by coming forward about their mental health issues, they will be targeted or somehow made to feel inferior, and woe betide the senior manager who reports they are 'stressed'.

    Getting people to acknowledge that reacting adversely to some situations can result in a need to seek professional assistance will only happen when the workplace culture is such that everyone (at all levels) acknowledges the impact that psychological trauma has. Creating healthy environments when even the difficult topics can be talked about openly. Changing the culture may result in more timely interventions in treatment, or even changing workplace environments to make them less conducive to being contributors to mental health issues.
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