Mentally healthy workplaces – tools for small business

Understanding the signs of a mentally healthy workplace is tricky – especially when you can’t see them. That’s why SafeWork Vic have created the WorkWell Toolkit, to help you control hazards that you can’t see and help you on your way to creating a mentally healthy workplace and fulfilling your responsibilities as an employer.

WorkSafe’s WorkWell Toolkit for Small Business offers new resources focused on small business, including in-language support for Chinese and Vietnamese-speaking small business operators.

Small businesses can now access a free online toolkit providing tailored, step-by-step support to help them create mentally healthy workplaces.

It includes access to practical tools and information such as case studies, policy templates, videos and tip sheets from trusted organisations such as Beyond Blue and RUOK.

The resources cover topics including bullying, fatigue, gendered violence including sexual harassment, leadership, occupational violence and aggression, respect and role clarity.

WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety Narelle Beer said mentally healthy workplaces benefited workers, their families and communities, and had a positive impact workplace productivity.

“The free WorkWell Toolkit for Small Business provides tailored support and resources to small businesses to help them create safe and mentally healthy workplaces where workers can thrive,” Dr Beer said.

“The toolkit will support small businesses to be better able to identify and manage risks to psychological health, which can be harder to spot but are just as important to address as risks to physical health.”

Work related mental health injuries are expected to account for one third of all workers compensation claims by the end of the decade. WorkSafe has accepted 633 mental injury claims from workers in small businesses since the start of 2021.

The small business-focused toolkit was developed in partnership with Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions and received $500,000 as part of the Government’s Wellbeing and Mental Health Support for Small Business during COVID-19.

The funding was used to repurpose the toolkit for small businesses, including consulting about their needs, providing in-language support, developing new resources and making the toolkit easier to use.

The additional resources for small businesses will extend the reach of the existing toolkit, which has already supported almost 17,000 workplaces since it was launched in July 2018.

The toolkit is part of WorkSafe’s WorkWell program, which also includes learning networks to connect businesses and workers with mental health experts and WorkSafe’s Mental Health Improvement Fund, which offers investment to organisations and industry groups to prevent mental injury.

For more information, visit the WorkSafe Vic Workwell Program website

Source: WorkSafe Vic, 25 August 2022