How you can champion mental health

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The Hon. Philip Ruddock, ASMF Patron, and Kate Carnell, CEO beyondblue, announce ASMF and beyondblue partnership at the Australasian Council of Security Professionals and combined associations’ seminar in Canberra

Security has come a long way from being corporate cops. As a security manager, supervisor, operative or employee your role is to protect lives and property.

Doing so means much more that preventing crime or attacks.

Doing so means being proactive in creating a secure environment for your company and your community. An environment where people can flourish and live the best lives possible.

Part of that is about learning to be:

  • Emotionally intelligent and being able to identify emotional and behavioral disorders; and
  • Learning resilient thinking to help others in times of trauma, stress or disaster, which is especially important when you consider the overlooked fact  that security are often the first responders to incidents and emergencies.

With these attitudes and skills you can help someone before they become a risk to themselves or others around them.

To help  security managers and employees become advocates for emotional intelligence and resilient thinking in order to create truly secure environments, the Australian Security Medals Foundation Inc. has teamed up withbeyondblue to launch the beyondblue National Workplace Program in the security industry.

The beyondblue National Workplace Program is designed to:

  • increase awareness and understanding of depression and anxiety in the workplace;
  • decrease stigma by improving attitudes towards people who experience depression and anxiety;
  • improve skills to recognise the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety; and
  • be confident to assist a colleague or employee who may be experiencing these conditions.

Security faces many specific challenges, which the stories of the Australian Security Medal of Valour recipients clearly show, from personal attacks, facing down violent offenders to saving lives and other stressful situations.

In many cases in emergencies, security are the real first responders, a fact that is not recognised nearly enough.

Even in their daily work, research also shows a high incidence of security operatives being confronted with verbal abuse and physical attacks — just for doing their job.

Moreover, the nature of their work often means they have to deal with surges in demand and have little control within their work environment, two critical factors in relation to workplace stress.

But, it is not only security officers this program relates to. Mental health can be an issue in any workplace.

The fact is, depression and anxiety disorders are the second leading cause of disability and mortality in Australia.

Nearly three million people experience depression and/or anxiety each year and, unlike many physical illnesses, it impacts on people during their prime working years.

Effective treatments are available, yet only half of sufferers seek treatment.

You and your security department can become a hub to raise awareness about mental health problems, decrease the associated stigma and encourage early intervention so that people seek help early.

A proactive approach will minimise the impact on the individual, the work team and the organisation.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

The beyondblue National Workplace Program is a an awareness, early intervention and prevention program, specifically for workplace settings, which aims to increase the knowledge and skills of staff and managers to address mental health problems in the workplace.

The program utilises an evidence-based approach and focuses on:

The program utilises an evidence-based approach and focuses on:

  • how to recognise a work colleague who may be experiencing depression or
  • an anxiety disorder;
  • how to support someone to get help;
  • good management strategies such as return to work plans and making adjustments in the workplace.

Importantly, the program provides information as well as practical strategies that can be introduced within the workplace.

WORKPLACE PRESENTATIONS AND WORKSHOPS ARE AVAILABLE TO SUIT YOU

beyondblue National Workplace Program offers a range of education options that are designed for different organisational audiences.

It need not be restricted to security employees, either. If you want to encourage a campaign across your company through your department, you can. In fact, since it is a risk issue, there could be no better way increasing the profile of your security department and the role it plays in creating a secure environment.

You can organise or attend any one of the following:

1. Senior Executive Briefing: mental health in the workplace

Recommended session length: 45-60 minutes

Maximum participant numbers: 15 people

Designed for: Executives and senior management

This briefing is designed to highlight the importance of mental health in the workplace to

senior executives. The presentation incorporates a business case for tackling the most

common mental health problems in the workplace and leadership strategies to address

mental health in the workplace.

2. Organisational awareness: mental health in the workplace

Recommended session length: One hour

Maximum participant numbers: 100 people

Designed for: Staff at all levels within the workplace

This presentation is designed to increase awareness among staff members about

depression and anxiety disorders, their impact and support for mental wellbeing.

3. Employee awareness to action: mental health in the workplace

Recommended session length: Two hours

Maximum participant numbers: 25 people

Designed for: General staff groups (excluding managers, supervisors and team leaders)

This workshop is designed to increase awareness among general staff members about

the most common mental health problems in Australia and their impact on the workplace.

Participants will also, through the use of DVD case studies and structured discussions,

increase their confdence to approach a colleague they may be concerned about.

4. Manager awareness, impact and action: mental health in the workplace

Recommended session length: Three hours

Maximum participant numbers: 25 people

Designed for: Managers, supervisors and team leaders

This workshop is designed for managers to enhance their knowledge about the

impact of the most common mental health problems on individuals, the workplace

environment and the organisation as a whole. Through the use of DVD case

studies and structured discussions, participants will become more confident in the

principles and planning required to approach an employee they may be concerned

about. Participants will also spend time developing management strategies to address

mental health within their organisation.

5. Strategies and solutions for HR Professionals: mental health in the workplace

Recommended session length: Four hours

Maximum participant numbers: 20

Designed for: Managers and staff in HR, OH&S, Return to Work or Injury Management

This workshop is designed specifically to enable HR professionals to promote mental

health awareness and to meet the challenge of addressing depression, anxiety and

related disorders in the workplace. Participants will be guided through the fundamentals

of mental health problems in the workplace, including an examination of prevention

strategies at an organisational level, how to develop appropriate policies and procedures,

and how to advise managers on addressing mental health problems with their staff.

Thanks to Federal Government funding aimed at takling mental health issues in male-dominated industries, most courses are free while funding remains available.

WHY YOU SHOULD STEP UP TO HELP

External evaluations show that implementation of beyondblue workshops result in the following outcomes for participants:

  • Increased awareness and understanding about the most common mental health
  • problems in the workplace.
  • A greater understanding of the impact of these problems on the lives of people who are affected, including their work performance.
  • Improved attitudes towards a colleague with depression or a related disorder and decreased stigma.
  • Increased willingness and confidence to assist and/or manage a person who may be experiencing depression or a related disorder.
  • A greater understanding of managers’ responsibilities to staff and the organisation as they relate to these issues.
  • Increased awareness of support services available for staff to seek help.

beyondblue’s workplace workshops have been consistently rated highly by participants:

  • 98 per cent of participants would recommend beyondblue training to others.
  • 95 per cent of participants rated the relevance of the content to their job as being good or excellent.
  • 96 per cent of participants rated the quality of the presenter as being good or excellent.

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED

Don’t let a mate suffer in silence or a colleague struggle alone. You can start the process by simply picking up the phone and talking about how one or more of the beyondblue workshops can help you, your fellow workers, your company and your community build a secure environment.

Act quickly, if you want to take advantage of the funding is provided by the Federal Department of Health and Ageing’s Taking Action to Tackle Suicide strategy. Funding is capped and available till end June 2014.

So, to step up to help:

Call the beyondblue licensee Davidson Trahaire Corpsych on 1300 134 644 or emailmentalwellbeing@davcorp.com.au

For more information visit: www.davcorp.com.au

Download briefing document here: ASMF_beyondblue_mental_mealth_program

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