SafeWork NSW’s Mentally Healthy Workplaces Strategy has been relaunched in a bid to improve workplace mental health in response to the changes brought about by COVID-19.
Nationals Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said the redesigned strategy is focused on helping every type of business become mentally healthy.
“SafeWork has already done a fantastic job in supporting businesses implement mental health plans for their workplaces and have trained up more than 14,000 employees, but there’s a lot more work to be done,” Mr Anderson said.
“The re-designed strategy is about helping employers move from a model of only prioritising mental health at work following an incident, to offering targeted and proactive support to their employees throughout the year.”
One new initiative is direct practical coaching for small and medium businesses, providing business leaders with one-on-one training from experts in workplace mental health.
“Through the pilot, every business, at a time convenient to them, can receive tailored guidance on how to address risks related to mental health at work, as well as identify actions and plans to mitigate the issues,” Mr Anderson said.
Nationals Minister for Mental Health, Bronnie Taylor said knowing how to prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of staff is increasingly important in the wake of COVID-19, and can also make a big difference to morale and productivity.
“Most of us spend about one-third or more of our adult lives at work. It’s a huge part of what we do and can have a significant impact on our mental health in a positive or negative way,” Mrs Taylor said.
“Good mental health begins in the community and in the places and times we gather from day-to-day. From high-risk sectors to small and medium businesses, this means equipping each and every one to confidently deliver tailored, practical support to meet the unique needs of their staff from the ground up.”
This strategy comes on top of the NSW Nationals in the state government’s record investment of $2.4 billion on mental health in 2020-21.