Background

Mitchell Services Limited delivers safe, efficient, drilling services to mining and energy industries globally, employing over 400 experienced staff.
Mitchell Services conducted a mental health review using data from the support services and intervention programs provided by their Employee Assistance Program (EAP), feedback from one-on-one’s and worksite group discussions, along with a company-wide employee perception survey.
They found:

  • poor staff awareness and under-utilisation of the EAP
  • lack of understanding of mental health
  • absence of a formal mental wellness program.

Focus

Mitchell Services explored strategies to reduce mental health stigma by increasing understanding of mental health and raising awareness about the services offered. Some activities and initiatives undertaken were:

  • elevation of the EAP usage through increased workplace communication
    – posters, information at onboarding and induction processes
  • promotion of mental wellness through video messaging, including a personal commitment to mental wellness from the CEO, increasing employee’s mental health literacy
  • encouragement of sharing personal stories and experiences with team members
  • launch of Mitchell Services Wellness Program – a leadership supported program that promotes mental health in the workplace through ‘toolbox talks’ and in-house Mental Health Week activities
  • Mental Health First Aid training to provide employees with the mental health skills to help colleagues they’re concerned about.
Two drill workers standing in front of a drill talking
Two men operating drill in mine

Outcomes

Implementing these initiatives has:

  • increased the response rate of the employee perception survey by more than 75 per cent
  • increased employee satisfaction, with staff saying they felt:
    • Mitchell Services is a safe place to work
    • stress and workloads are managed
    • valued and supported by the team
    • that the business is interested in the wellbeing of its employees.
  • increased usage of EAPs
  • increased discussions about mental health across the organisation.

Challenges

Being a predominately ‘bravado’ environment, mental health stigma was high and there was a reluctance to talk openly. The introduction of team ‘toolbox talks’ and company participation in mental health awareness campaigns (Movember and RUOK? Day) helped break down that stigma.

 
Four Mitchell Services drillers in high-vis safety gear
 

Mitchell Services found that, like any program, continual improvement is essential for success – a program needs to mature and grow as the organisation does. By using existing resources, including the EAP, Mitchell Services were able to provide sustainable mental health services to employees, that complemented the company’s mental health strategy.

The company also found that promotional content featuring images of staff resonated well with their workforce – it brought sincerity and authenticity to their messaging.