In our latest As the Expert event, we heard about innovations in psychological wellbeing. Mental health and workplace wellbeing are priority issues in today’s organisation. Information sessions have been run on mental health conditions and social issues to raise awareness and decrease stigma. Training programs have been conducted to educate employees about disorders and resilience. EAPs have been a safety net that’s there when an employee is prepared to seek help and as a partner for HR in supporting employees.
But despite these initiatives, the prevalence of psychological issues and the impact on organisations is increasing. Today we heard about what else organisations can do to better manage and support the psychological wellbeing of their workforce.
Our two speakers, both highly regarded in their areas of expertise were Paul Flanagan, Director of Life Street and Carlene York, HR Commander within NSW Police Force. They discussed some of their latest thinking and innovations that have been put into practice.
Carlene began the presentation by telling our audience more about the NSW Police Force who have recently embarked on an extensive cultural change program to maintain physical and mental health, prevent injuries and be proactive in response to work, health and safety claims of its officers.
Mental health conditions had been identified as a significant cost to the organisation, and with physical health and mental health so inextricably linked, Carlene told us how the program has focussed on both areas to gain value in keeping officers healthy. The results have been outstanding, more officers retained in the work place, less costs, a better corporate image and positive feedback from all involved. As Carlene pointed out, Australians spend approximately one third of their life at work so why shouldn’t they be healthy? Policing is a demanding and complex job; the community relies on our officers to perform their duties at times of crisis. The Workforce Improvement Program was a joint initiative with the NSW Police Association to ensure police were ready to do their job as effectively as possible.
Paul then took a look at what psychological wellbeing is, what are organisations currently doing to manage psychological wellbeing, and what the benefit is of focusing on the issue. He then went on to describe 9 key principles for organisations to focus on when considering managing the issue. Moving from the theoretical to the practical, Paul explored a practical approach to managing psychological wellbeing giving participants insight into new a new approach to EAP that is more positive, engaging and preventive.
Our huge thanks to Paul and Carlene for sharing their insights and giving us their time on this important topic.
Also read Addressing Psychological Wellbeing: A Guide by Paul Flanagan.