Mental Health Foundation launches free mental health resources for workplaces

The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) is calling on New Zealand employers to make mental health part of the conversation at work.

The MHF has launched a suite of free resources as part of a project called Open Minds. The resources include videos, training role plays, posters, tip cards and FAQs and are designed to give managers the confidence and practical skills to be able to talk about mental health in the workplace.

Mental health is relevant at work because it’s something all employees have, MHF chief executive Shaun Robinson explains.

“People bring their whole selves to work and mental health problems can affect anyone at any time. One in five New Zealanders will experience a mental illness this year, so it’s critical that employers make talking about mental health a normal and safe thing to do,” Robinson says in a media release.

The Open Minds resources cover topics including what barriers both managers and employees face around talking about mental health at work, the steps you need to take to have a successful conversation and the cost of not talking about it.

“There can be a lot of fear about talking about mental health at work. Managers need to remember they don’t need to be experts to support someone; it’s simply about being a good employer. The key is to have open communication with your employees so they feel able to talk about what’s going on for them.”

There are huge benefits to creating a workplace culture where it’s normal to talk about mental health.

“Employees are the greatest asset to a workplace. Staff need to feel confident, happy and engaged in their work, so stress, sick leave and staff turnover is low, and productivity is high, leading to a healthier bottom line. It’s a win-win when mental health and wellbeing becomes a priority at work.”

The MHF invites workplaces to start using the resources which are available

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