Mental Health / Wellbeing Policy
I am about to rewrite our Stress Management Policy into a Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy. I was just wondering what others think are key parts that should be included in a policy like this?
Thanks in advance!
There are excellent resources both on the WorkSafe NZ and MHF websites regarding stress, mental health and wellbeing information. The MHF has a toolkit called the 5 ways to wellbeing which is really helpful:
When you think about the key parts to include, I would ask the audience. Put a survey out to your workforce and get their feedback on what they think is important or needed in your work environment to support their health which includes mental wellbeing. Include space for workers to elaborate if they want to offer more than multi-choice answers. It is a huge subject and when we worked on it, we found that home affects work, and work affects home and you don't just leave your home life at the workplace door. So we encouraged workers to seek EAP if they were experiencing home stressors as well as offering it as work support.
My immediate recommendation is the 'Management Standards Approach' - Rather than orientating to the individual factors associated with stress, that are highly variable and personal it focuses on 'whole of organization' and factors that can be influenced: Demands | Control | Support | Relationships | Role (clarity) | Change.
I've been able to use this in a wide range of ways with great outcomes - informing policy, ensuring reasonable expecations when developing position / job descriptions, through to identifying points of weakness that can be adjusted when problems appear.
A good place to find out more about this is
I hope that helps and let me know how you get on.
We are also surveying workers on this - we are looking at getting the leaders/safefy champions to collect this feedback (using open ended questions) - this will also give the leaders a chance to check-in with their teams and learn from the process and hopefully own and lead any initiatives that result.
Awesome, thanks for the info team.
I think we are going to use the Te Whare Tapa Whā model as a base for the policy, which will be quite interesting to see how it turns out!
We have used this model as the basis for our wellbeing approach - it has been very well received so far and is a finalist in the Diversity Works awards
We also use the Te Whare Tapa Whā model. As part of this, it is important that mental health and wellbeing is a regular part of conversations within the workplace. This way it isn't a bolt on, but becomes a key part of the culture.
Along with the Te Whare Tapa Wha model as a basis for your Policy, I'd highly recommend checking out the 'Guarding Minds at Work' resources available at
. It's has incredibly valuable resources, including the ability to conduct a survey so your business can work on things that will really have an impact (NOTE: You don't have to do the survey to use the resources).
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