Black Dog Institute, funded by the NSW government, is offering free mental health training to eligible NSW workplaces.
The expert-led training comes at a time when managers, leaders, and employers are being asked to play a pivotal role in their team’s wellbeing.
The training has proven to improve knowledge and skills, with 85 percent of managers reporting an increase in confidence to manage mental health issues in the workplace after completing the training.
Designed for everyone in the workplace, the easy-to-do programs provide practical strategies to influence positive mental health at work at individual, team and organisational levels.
Black Dog Institute Workplace facilitator Carol Newall said the training gave people the skills to start a conversation about mental health at work.
“It might be they had noticed a change in behaviour of someone on their team, but didn’t know how to go beyond asking if they were okay,” Ms Newall said.
“The training is also good to tell people what the latest thinking is on how to help and where information and services can be found if they do have a colleague in distress.”
CareFlight is just one workplace that has jumped at the opportunity provided by the mental health training. Bringing emergency care to people as and where they need it is a demanding job, so the Careflight team has to be ready for any incident at any time.
Some of the situations team members experience can often be traumatic, and some staff haven’t been trained to deal with such situations earlier in their careers.
Aeromedical Specialist with CareFlight Caroline Macari said that while doctors and nurses flying out to traumatic situations were used to seeing trauma of all sorts, often flying the planes or driving the ambulances is not.
“Staff are being asked to put themselves in the position of seeing what can sometimes be distressing scenes time and again,” Ms Macari said.
“We as an organisation wanted to make sure that everyone at CareFlight felt supported, and wanted to ensure we were looking after their mental health.
“Even those not on the frontline deserve to feel supported and know that their organisation cares.”
They created a Wellbeing team who, along with many other initiatives, accessed mental health training with the Black Dog Institute funded by the NSW government.
So far, 30 managers have completed ‘Managing for Team Wellbeing’, and they aim to register every other manager for workshops later in the year.
Ms Macari is now working to equip the rest of the team with the skills to look after their health and support others, with another 20 staff just having completed ‘Your Mental Health at Work’ training.
“It’s important that every staff member knows we care for their mental wellbeing and they have training to start the conversation of asking their teammates - are you coping?,” she said.
“I hope other organisations sign up too.”
More than 15,000 people across NSW have already completed the training, with 98 percent reporting they’d recommend it to others.
Poor mental health not only impacts the individual, but can have a ripple effect across the workplace, and within the wider community.
Ms Newall said this training helped businesses keep employees healthy and ensured they were coping at work.
Training is available free to NSW businesses with up to 200 workers and not-for-profit organisations of any size. It is available online with flexible options to suit the workplace, no matter where they are operating across the state. Apply at https://www.nsw.gov.au/mental-health-at-work.
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