Creating a mentally healthy workplace

It is suggested the following areas of focus be considered on your journey to create and maintain a mentally healthy workplace.Diagram explaining the areas of focus and critical factors to creating a mentally healthy workplace.

Areas of focus

Raising awareness

Talk openly about mental health, provide training, make mental health information available and promote available support services.

Supporting individuals

Provide leaders, managers and workers with the appropriate skills and confidence to approach someone they are concerned about, have a conversation and provide ongoing support.

Reducing risks

Review the workplace to identify risk factors to mental health and take action to reduce these risks. For example, managing workloads to minimise stress, preventing bullying and discrimination and managing workplace change.

Providing effective return to work

Assist workers with a mental health condition to remain at, or return to work, by developing a stay at or return to work plan, making reasonable workplace adjustments and providing support as needed.

Critical success factors

Critical success factors¹ to consider for the success of your actions to improve mental health are:

  • Commitment from senior organisational leaders and business owners shows a visible and long-term commitment to mental health in the workplace.
  • Input and employee participation must be sought at every step, from planning through to implementation and review.
  • Develop and implement policies which need to be clearly articulated and flexible enough to meet the needs of the organisation. Heads Up offers a free mental health and wellbeing policy template.
  • Resources necessary for success of initiatives need to be identified and allocated.
  • A sustainable approach requires ongoing effort to achieve lasting outcomes.
  • Planning will lead to successful implementation and will identify the intended goals, objectives and actions required to achieve success.

How you can take the next steps

The next step is to evaluate how mental health and risk factors are being addressed in your workplace and identify priority areas for action. By developing an action plan, you will be taking positive steps in creating a mentally healthy workplace.

Useful tools and resources can assist you in taking the next steps in creating or maintaining a mentally healthy workplace. If you would like further information on how we can help you contact our mentally healthy workplaces consultant via email or by calling 13 18 55.


¹ PwC PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia (2014), Creating a mentally healthy workplace: Return on investment analysis, retrieved May 2016.