Rosie Bartlett
9 key learnings from 15 years of delivering workplace mental health training – Part 1

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Welcome to part one of a four part series exploring some of the things Rosie Bartlett, founder and Principal Consultant has observed while delivering mental health training. The programs delivered have ranged from courses such as Mental Health First Aid which focuses on identification and early intervention of mental illness, to proactive mental fitness and stress management and self care initiatives in the workplace. We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback  

1. Some organisations get it and others don’t

Like some really don’t…. Even the really big ones that should. A perfect example is when I delivered training in two large organisations in direct competition – Let’s call them organisation A and Organisation Z. Both courses were filled with high level execs. 

Organisation A got it. Like really got it. They were committed in every facet of the business from the top to the bottom. It transferred to their people to the point where I was having a conversation with the cashier at one of these stores one day and after I told her what I do and that I had trained her store manager (she asked… I wasn’t just talking about myself). She eagerly told me about her experience with anxiety last year and how well the store manager and the organisation had handled it.

Flip over to organisation Z. They didn’t  get it. While training the executives in the room I was met with blank stares and questions such as ‘I hear what you’re saying about mental health, but what about scan rates and productivity? That is where we really need to see improvement’. They couldn’t see the forest through the trees.

If you can’t see what the problem is here, feel free to give me a call and we can talk it through….or at least refer to point 2 below and then 3 and 4 in the next post… Then if you still don’t get it, we really need to talk.

2. All organisations need to invest in their people

Repeat after me…. Your people are your greatest asset. Good…. Now say it again (and again and again). Let it become your mantra.

People are complex things. Unlike machines we like to feel valued, have a sense of control and to know how, what and where our role fits into the bigger picture. We also like to feel that when times get tough our manager/colleagues/People and Culture will have our back and support us.

When people feel supported and cared about at work, they invest in the organisation. Committing, Communicating, Complying, Confidence with skills, Co-Leading, Connecting and creating a Culture by Doing are all important parts of the process.

With mental health conditions costing Australian workplaces $10.9 Billion per year and with almost one in two of us (45.5%) experiencing a mental illness at some point in our lives can you really afford not to?

On the flip side, a PwC study found that for every dollar invested into creating a mentally healthy workplace, a minimum positive return on investment of $2.30 can be expected. In some industries this is even higher. You will see on average $14.50 for construction, electricity, gas and water and waste service industries.

So ask yourself again…. Can you really afford not to?