Story image

Three ways to improve mental health support in the workplace

13 Nov 2018

Mental health support and wellness are becoming critical lifelines for workplaces around the world, but a lack of support could end up costing businesses millions of dollars in lost productivity and too much disruption.

According to Australia’s CoreHealth Technologies CRO Dr Tyler Amell, poor mental health in the workplace can lead to poor physical health, which leads to unproductivity and absenteeism.

“Instead of scrambling into action after a crisis, employers need to be more proactive in supporting employees with appropriate tools and resources before it hits,” he comments.

Amell adds that prevention provides results.

“Preventative strategies include assessing who might be at risk of mental health illness, talking about it with your team to reduce stigma and making sure leaders have appropriate training to help colleagues in need before a crisis occurs.

“It’s about planting the seed for improved resilience and being better prepared for any future work disability risk.”

Amell offers three ways employers can improve mental health in the workplace:

1.  Dial up digital 

Amell says that in the last three years, many apps have been developed to support mental health.
“Psychometric tools, stress heatmaps and wellness gamification modules have proven to help teams to switch off, receive advice discreetly and build their resilience. 

“If you are not already, make sure you are giving your team access to digital tools, dashboards, resilience monitors or wellbeing apps so they can monitor their own mental health. 

“The tools that work best are the ones that fit in with your business’ culture, focus on individual risk and prepare people for changes. There are many digital tools that can challenge individuals to improve their lifestyle behaviour. They encourage small changes like taking the stairs or parking the car further away, improving sleep quality and diet all adding up to an improved lifestyle over time.” 

2.  Update your reporting

Amell encourages managers to report how many days they lose to stress-related sickness and absences every year. 

“Clear reporting can motivate leaders to manage stress levels proactively in their teams.

"Real time absence reporting gives organisations greater visibility of their teams’ health and can influence when leaders might step in, thereby improving early intervention. The internal data gathered from this reporting can also provide the evidence to invest in worker health and productivity programs.”

3. Speak to an independent expert 

Amell says workplace rehabilitation providers are experts in helping employees who have a work-related physical or mental injury, recovery, and returning employees back to work.

“They also offer services to help employers mitigate the risk of injury in the workplace. This is time well spent.”

Need the perfect flatmate? AI can help
A Kiwi entrepreneur has developed a flatmate-finding service called Mogeo, which is an algorithm that matches people to the perfect flatmates.
GoCardless to double A/NZ team by end of year
With a successful E round of investment and continuing organic growth globally, the debit network platform company aims to expand its local presence.
NZ’s Maori innovators are on the rise
“More iwi investors need to recognise that these sectors will provide the high-value jobs our children need."
Phone ringing? This biohack wants you to bite down and ChewIt
So your phone’s ringing, but instead of swiping right or pushing a Bluetooth button you bite down on a tiny piece of tech that sits in your mouth.
How big data can revolutionise NZ’s hospitals
Miya Precision is being used across 17 wards and the emergency department at Palmerston North Hospital.
Time's up, tax dodgers: Multinational tech firms may soon pay their dues
Multinational tech and digital services firms may no longer have a free tax pass to operate in New Zealand. 
Spark’s new IoT network reaches 98% of New Zealand
Spark is the first company to confirm the nationwide completion of a Cat-M1 network in New Zealand.
WhatsApp users warned to change voicemail PINs
Attackers are allegedly gaining access to users’ WhatsApp accounts by using the default voicemail PIN to access voice authentication codes.