Mental Health Month – What Did We Learn?

October is known as mental health month and the last 18 months has challenged our mental health like no other.

Covid has created many opportunities like working from home, connecting with our family and in some instances, slowing down! But it has also created many challenges for us as people, employees and leaders.

Pioneera is the Grammarly for mental health. We started Pioneera to help people see the early warning signs of stress to prevent burnout and get help early. We hosted our first round table this month to lift the lid on mental health and help leaders understand how they can help their people and themselves and we wanted to share these great insights with you.

Our panel of Alicia Aitken, ANZ, Ella Mansfield, MMC and Lynn Crawford from University of Sydney, have many years of experience in leading people, dealing with stress/mental health and researching how we can do things better.

It was a wide ranging and interesting discussion and here are some of the key points that you might be able to use in your workplace:

1. Workplace wellbeing and psychological safety starts with the leader. You don’t need lots of tools or processes to help you, you can simply start by caring about your people. Be consistent with caring and supporting people and take the time.

2. Take note of the early warning signs. ANZ uses many systems/platforms/programs to help them do this, including Pioneera. This gives them the data and signals to take preventative measures and action, rather than wait ‘til things happen.

3. One size does not fit all and it’s important to tailor things to what individuals need. Things like Covid-leave go a long way to help people feel appreciated and supported.

4. It doesn’t seem as taboo to talk about mental wellness or health now, given we’re all in the same boat, so don’t be afraid of raising things with your team or your colleagues.

5. Organisational values play an important part in dealing with mental health, how do your values support people?

6. There is still some fear around mental health and talking about it. Be mindful if you’re talking to your team or people are raising things with you, people are still worried about being judged. And many of the panel talked about being vulnerable and sharing how they are feeling as well.

7. Mental health is now being seen as part of the employee value proposition – employees are looking for mental health support in an employer.

8. The research indicates that wellbeing and productivity is so strongly linked and almost indistinguishable.

How are you supporting mental health in your workplace? Visit the Pioneera website for tips and tools to prevent burnout and support mental health. And take care of yourself and others.

Danielle Owen Whitford, a former corporate executive, founded start up Pioneera in 2018 to improve our mental health by tackling the crippling issue of workplace stress and burnout. Pioneera’s AI platform combines technology with psychology to prevent workplace stress whilst promoting positive productive cultures and is gaining strong interest across both corporate Australia and small businesses.