Developing strategies for a healthy workplace provides a framework for your workplace to promote mental wellbeing, minimise workplace risks to mental health, support people experiencing mental health issues and reduce stigma associated with mental health conditions.
Everyone has a role to play in creating a healthy workplace, and simple strategies can help achieve this.
Every workplace is unique, so your approach needs to be tailored to fit your workplace.
Start small and work towards taking action across multiple areas.
Strategies and actions should be underpinned by sound policies and procedures that are relevant to your workplace.
"It's important that we're proactive instead of reactive and work in a way that we can create systems to ensure that people can actually address some of their mental health issues and not feel that there is a stigma attached to it."
Janine Allis, Retail Zoo
When developing strategies for a healthy workplace there are three critical success factors.
Below are some practical actions you can take related to each of these, which will assist you in developing a successful strategy.
It is important to think about how your workplace can support each of these factors at the beginning of the process.
It is also important to implement relevant policies to lay the groundwork in ensuring the success of your strategy
A great way to start is to develop a mental health and wellbeing policy, but other workplace policies that also need to include mental health include: workplace bullying, career development, cultural awareness, discrimination, Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), equal opportunity, fitness for work, harassment, health promotion, leave arrangements, people and performance management, recruitment, return to work, and work health and safety (WH&S).
Developing a workplace mental health strategy: A how-to guide for organisations (PDF) is a definitive guide that allows managers to systematically develop and implement a plan to create a mentally healthy workplace. The guide contains an Action Plan template that can assist you in developing your plan.
Download our mental health and wellbeing policy template document (DOCX) to get started.
Steps for developing a mental health strategy
Once you have considered the ‘critical success factors’ work through each of the following steps to help develop your strategy. If you already have a strategy in place these steps can be used to help identify potential gaps.
Case studies: Developing a mental health strategy
Below are some examples of organisations that have developed their own workplace mental health and wellbeing strategy by following the general principles and steps outlined in Developing a workplace mental health strategy: A how-to guide for organisations.
Getting started pack
If your organisation is short on resources and you want some basic information to get you started in your journey to creating a more mentally healthy workplace, try our Getting Started pack.
The pack offers a number of resources to help you get started in your journey and communicate with your staff.
Download our Getting Started Pack
Action plan tool
The Action Plan tool is a simple, interactive, free tool to help businesses identify their priority areas relating to workplace health. Based on the areas identified, users are then presented with a list of potential actions to assist them in getting started. You’ll also have access to a whole range of resources to support you.
This tool could be used as part of developing your overall strategy.