Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Dog Institute is assisting small businesses in prioritising workplace mental health to aid in economic productivity and recovery.
The Black Dog Institute provides free mental health training, funded by the NSW Government, to eligible businesses across NSW. The training is designed for everyone in the workplace and provides participants with the skills to boost mental health at an individual, team and organisational level. This easy-to-do training is delivered by experts and can be completed online or face-to-face.
“Small businesses often experience additional risk factors including financial pressures, social isolation, long work hours, and poor promotion opportunities. All of which have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic” said Mark Deady, Senior Research Fellow at the Black Dog Institute.
“Evidence-based training is a key strategy to build leadership skills to identify risks and warning signs of mental ill-health, and support mental health at work.”
In keeping with the theme of Small Business Month 2022 – ‘Rebuild, Recharge, Renew’ – the Black Dog Institute is encouraging small business owners, human resource leaders, and employees to consider how they can support workplace mental health in order to foster a positive and inclusive culture.
Additionally, the NSW Government’s free one-on-one business coaching supports small businesses with mental health at work topics such as stress, burnout, change, customer aggression or having difficult conversations. Coaching is available six days a week from 8 am – 6 pm.
Small businesses and staff face a variety of unique challenges, and it can be difficult to know where to begin; however, step-by-step assistance and resources are available.
“It’s a demanding job, bringing emergency care to people as and where they need it, so the team at CareFlight have to be ready for any incident at any time. The experiences they endure can often be traumatic, though this is something, not all CareFlight staff have been trained to deal with earlier in their careers,” explained Aeromedical Specialist Caroline Macari.
“While the doctors and nurses flying out to these situations are used to seeing the trauma of all sorts, often those flying the planes or driving the ambulances are not.
“Staff are being asked to put themselves in the position of seeing what can sometimes be distressing scenes time and time again. 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 front line deserve to feel supported and know that their organisation cares.”
This resulted in the creation of a Wellbeing team who, along with many other initiatives, accessed mental health training with the Black Dog Institute, and proudly 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.
“It’s important that every staff member knows we care for their mental wellbeing and they have the training to start the conversation of asking their teammates – are you coping? I hope other organisations sign up too,” she said.