Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental health training

Mental health training is key to building capacity and developing skills in managing those with mental health problems.

Mental health training can help to:

  • ensure a supportive work environment and decrease stigma surrounding mental health problems
  • develop leadership and interpersonal skills
  • assist in overcoming barriers to return to work
  • develop insight and understanding of mental health problems
  • increase the likelihood of appropriate early intervention for mental health problems
  • assist supervisors to support employees with a mental health problem to remain in or return to work

There are a number of organisations in Australia that provide such training, including:

"In so many cases, managers or colleagues, they might think that there's a problem but they avoid it, they don't ask early enough. So by the time they do have the conversation, it's really difficult - people are on the back foot and it can get hostile. Managers need to be more proactive and have these conversations earlier. You can keep it low key, just check in with the person, ask them if they are getting the support they need."
HR Manager
*not her real name
"If someone broke their arm we wouldn't be worrying about whether or not we were liable, we'd just send them to the doctor. It should be the same for mental health problems."
OHS Manager
* not his real name
"Some employers think that if they accept that there is a problem, then that means they are accepting liability. Sometimes that stops them helping get employees into treatment. Actually they would be better off getting the person into treatment early - that's likely to reduce the risk of a stress claim. I recommend that where they can, employers offer to pay for two sessions of treatment without considering issues of liability."
Occupational Physician
*not her real name