Job in Jeopardy – helping employees with mental illness
Around 45% of Australians between the age of 16 and 85 will experience a mental illness at some point in their life, while one in five Australian adults will experience a mental illness in any given year.
As a manager or work colleague, it can be difficult to see a team member struggle with mental illness and employers don’t always feel equipped to deal with the situation.
If a staff member’s employment becomes at risk because of a mental health condition, there is help available for both employers and employees via the Job In Jeopardy Assistance program, which is funded by the Australian Government. *This program will be called Work Assist as of the 1st of July.
You can find a provider to help via THIS LINK. Either the employer or employee can approach a program provider for support.
Far North Queensland program provider Worklink, is one organisation who offers this great service. They provide counselling, on the job support, upskilling/training and employee/employer liaising as part of their Job in Jeopardy service delivery. Worklink has been servicing far north Queensland for over 20 years. They specialise in assisting people who have experienced a mental health condition.
Tips for managers to create a mentally healthy workplace for all employees
- Increase your own knowledge about mental health and be aware of the support available (such as the Job In Jeopardy Assistance program)
- Educate your staff about mental health in the workplace
- Tool box talks
- Include in induction and other employee training processes
- Provide educational information and/or posters in the workplace
- Talk openly about mental health at work and encourage others to do the same
- Provide support to any team member who is struggling with their mental health
- Communicate regularly with your team
- Encourage respectful behaviour and communication by team members
- Have consistent messages about behavioural expectations, including education and responsiveness to bullying behaviour
- Improve work design by addressing potential workplace stressors
- Regularly review workloads
- Improve role clarity
- Provide adequate resources and training to your employees, so they are able to confidently perform their roles
- Demonstrate healthy work habits – lead by example
- Be an influencer – encourage senior management to make mental health a priority in the workplace
- Work with your team to develop a plan