How to run a Mental Health Toolbox Talk training session in your workplace

Catherine Doherty:



Welcome, everyone, and thank you for participating in this webinar today, and making time to learn how to deliver a mentally healthy workplace Toolbox Talk training session. My name is Catherine Doherty, and I'm a Workplace Engagement Manager at Beyond Blue. But before we get underway, I'd like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we're broadcasting today, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, and pay my respects to elders past, present and future. But as we're reaching a national audience, I extend my respects to all elders and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia.

This is the fourth in the Beyond Blue webinar series that we've developed around workplace mental health as part of the Heads Up initiative. For those of you who don't know, the Heads Up initiative was developed by the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance and Beyond Blue in 2014. And it calls on business leaders to make a commitment to start taking action in their workplaces to improve mental health. I'm sure most of you are aware that mental ill health is a major issue for Australia's working population, with one in five Australians likely to be experiencing a mental health condition at any given time. In any one year, around one million Australian adults will experience depression. Now, over two million Australian adults will experience anxiety, and yet, less than 50% of those people will seek help or take any action.

With the majority of those affected with mental health conditions being of working age, employers and workplaces are in a unique position to have a positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of their workforce. And it's also in an employer's best interest to take a proactive approach from a moral, legal and financial standpoint. We know that taking a proactive approach to workplace mental health delivers a positive return on investment, and helps to build your reputation as an employer of choice. But regardless of the motivation, our focus should always be on keeping the five in five mentally healthy and thriving at work. And managers and colleagues are in a prime position to take notice of changes with their staff and their colleagues.

Most of us spend more time at work than we do with our families and our loved ones. So we can often be the first ones that notice a change in behaviour that might suggest that someone is struggling. To notice those differences, we need to have some level of connection with our staff and our colleagues, and then some confidence to reach out, check in, or initiate a conversation. If more managers and staff were aware of the signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression and how to take action to support someone at work, then all employees will be better equipped to not only help and support their colleagues and staff, but also to take action for themselves, their families or friends if needed, which would have a significant positive impact in our communities.

The Heads Up initiative encourages everyone in the workplace to play a part in creating a mentally healthy work environment, take care of their own mental health, and look out for their colleagues. And the Toolbox Talks training package is one of the many evidence-based, self-directed resources that can assist you to do this. So, today, I am delighted to be delivering this webinar with Mardi Webber from ReturnToWorkSA. Mardi is a Registered Psychologist and fellow Health and Safety Practitioner who works currently to assist South Australian employers to create and maintain mentally healthy workplaces. Mardi has experience in delivering the ‘Mental Health and the Workplace’ Toolbox Talk training package to South Australian workplaces. And has also coached others on how to best undertake the training so her knowledge and experience will be a great asset to this webinar today. Welcome, Mardi.

Mardi Webber:   Thanks, Catherine, and welcome everyone to the webinar today. It's great to be here, and to be able to share some of the learnings that I've had along the way when I've been working with companies in relation to this Toolbox Talk training package.

Catherine Doherty:   So just to be clear on what the learning outcomes are for this webinar today, really what we're trying to do is to clarify the contents of the training package and familiarise you with the package and its content. But also to build your confidence to deliver a training session in your workplace. Really, the resources are there for anyone to pick up and deliver into their workplace, and the flow on effect is then to equip managers and supervisors to feel more confident to have a conversation with their staff. At the end of the presentation, we hope that you'll be better, you'll have a better understanding of the intention of the Toolbox Talks training package and how you might deliver it in your workplace. And therefore, you'll feel confident to start having these conversations, and so will others at your workplace.

But before we move into the content of the webinar, we'd really like to get a sense of how confident you currently feel right now to deliver a training session on workplace mental health to your managers and supervisors. Will you just take a moment to respond to this poll question? This is really great. We’re seeing that there's a mix in the room of people who are feeling a little bit confident and others who are not feeling very confident at all. So, hopefully, we'll be able to lift the confidence of those who are feeling a little nervous and reassure and reinforce those that already have some confidence. So let's move back to the presentation.

So this is our agenda for today so let me outline what we'll cover. We'll start with the brief overview of the Toolbox Talk package as a means of raising awareness of workplace mental health. We'll then run through what the Toolbox Talk resources are, what the package training contains, how it works, and the purpose of the educator or trainer's role. And then we'll move into how to deliver the Toolbox Talk training package, including some tips and considerations to help you deliver an effective Toolbox Talk session in your workplace. There will be time at the end to respond to your questions, so feel free to ask questions at any point. After the summary, Mardi and I will answer those questions that you may have. You will get a lot more out of today if you have the Toolbox Talk Educator’s Guide and the Participant's Handbook to look at as we speak. So if you haven't already downloaded these documents from the link that was sent to you in your webinar confirmation email, I'd encourage you to download them now by simply going to the document folder in the bottom right hand of your screen.

So before we discuss the Toolbox Talk package as a way of raising awareness in the workplace, let me first explain to you what a Toolbox Talk actually is. A Toolbox Talk is simply a myth, sorry, a term that's used to represent a short and informal health and safety briefing or update. It's generally provided at the start of a shift covering a particular safety topic or subject that's pertinent to that day's tasks. Toolbox Talks typically run for about five minutes. For those in non-industrial environments, a Toolbox Talk can be delivered at a weekly stand-up, a daily scrum, a team meeting, or a lunch and learn, or any other formal or informal gathering within your workplace.

The purpose of the Toolbox Talk package is just simply a method to raise awareness of mental health in the workplace, and get that to a very grassroots level. The Toolbox Talk presentation doesn't need to be sophisticated. It simply allows for conversations to be held that might not have been voiced or heard before. It assists to reduce stigma relating to mental health so that we can start talking about mental heath as easily as we do physical health. And it gives staff a better understanding of risks and proactive factors so that they can learn what to do to keep themselves well and remind staff of what organisational and external supports are available to them and encourages them to use them.

So now that we've considered the Toolbox Talk training package as a way of raising awareness, we'll move on to the next agenda item; an overview of the Toolbox Talk resources. But before we do, let me just give you a little background of how this Toolbox Talk resource came about. It was originally developed in collaboration with union organisations as a way to help their delegates and their members. At that time, Beyond Blue worked with key union organisations to develop the Toolbox Talks training package so that delegates could gain a better understanding about mental health, how it affected the workplace, and what supports were available for their members. I'd encourage you to look at that package if you are a union member or delegate. The union version is slightly tailored to union audiences, but the content that we cover in the webinar today will be the same. Before the initial package was released, there was a demand for a non union version of the package as well. So the package was adapted to become the all-workplace version. This is the version that we'll be talking through today. Now I'm going to hand over to Mardi to take you through the package in a lot more detail.

Mardi Webber:   Thank you, Catherine, for that background information. The all-workplace version of the Toolbox Talk training package is designed to equip anyone managing staff with the knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver mental health Toolbox Talks to their teams. The training workshop, which the educator will be delivering, covers three topics that team leaders and managers can then deliver to their staff in five-minute Toolbox Talks, one for each topic. The topics are; about anxiety and depression, the relationship between the workplace and mental health, and taking action to support someone at work. The training package uses videos, case studies, individual and group activities to guide and enhance learning. However, when it comes to the managers and supervisors conducting the Toolbox Talks with their teams, no audio-visual materials are required.

So how exactly does this training package work? A nominated educator within your workplace would run a 90-minute training workshop with all managers or team leaders, or anyone managing staff, using the Educator's Guide to do this. A nominated educator may include Human Resources professionals, Return To Work Coordinators, Occupational Health and Safety Advisors, or a workplace champion whose put up their hand to run the training. It's important to note that these nominated educators are not required to have any prior knowledge, expertise or understanding of mental health and mental health conditions. Their role is to facilitate the training workshop, running the participants through the content as set out in the Educator's Guide, the Participant's Handbook and the PowerPoint presentation provided.

Following the training workshop, managers and team leaders will be equipped to then share their learnings with their staff in three five-minute Toolbox Talk sessions. Everything you need for the training workshop can be accessed through the Heads Up website and it's all free. You can find the information and materials under the ‘Training and resources’ section of Heads Up, and you can see a direct link to the resources from this landing page. When you go to the Toolbox Talk webpage on Heads Up, you'll find the links to download the key resources. Now, for the webinar today, you've downloaded the Educator's Guide and the Participant's Handbook. But just to let you know, there are some other resources that are available as well. I'm going to step through these now.

Firstly, the Educator's Guide; it contains all the instructions and information needed to run the Toolbox Talk package to your managers and supervisors. A Participant's Handbook; one should be printed for each person attending the training workshop, and this book contains a copy of all the slides in the PowerPoint presentation, and room for participants to write their notes and provide responses to quizzes and group activities. In the Participant's Handbook, in appendix two, on page 37, you'll also find an outline for each Toolbox Talk that they can follow when they give talks to their team. There's a PowerPoint presentation to use when facilitating the Toolbox Talk training workshop. You can also download a poster, print these out and so the participants can then take them back to their teams and put up in their team areas. And we'd also strongly encourage you to order a resource pack for each of the participants that's undertaking the Toolbox Talk training workshop. Now these packs are free, but delivery can take up to three weeks so it's just a matter of planning a little bit ahead of time to organise that. And the resource pack contains some really good pamphlets and resources that the managers and team leaders can then take back to their teams when they're running the Toolbox Talks. You can also see the terms of use for this training package on the webpage. The PowerPoint presentation cannot be altered, adapted, or edited in any way. However, this does not stop you from promoting supports within your workplace. And we'll talk about this a little bit more, a bit further on in the webinar.

So as Catherine mentioned a bit earlier in the presentation, in my role in South Australia, I've assisted workplace educators to run the workplace Toolbox Talk training package to their managers and supervisors. So I thought as part of the webinar today, I'll just show you a couple of examples of workplaces that I've worked with. And the first one is in relation to a manufacturing company. So, as it says on the slide, the quote says, “I'd definitely promote this program to other companies. I believe it was of great benefit to us in breaking down barriers and getting people (especially the men) to talk about their mental health. I was quite surprised and encouraged by how forthcoming the men were during and after the sessions.” So you can see from the quote how it's helped in creating discussions around mental health in the workplace, which also assists in stigma reduction and to help build a mentally healthy workplace.

The next example is a case study from Life Without Barriers. Life Without Barriers is a national, social purpose organisation working out of more than 300 communities across Australia. The video talks from a coordinator's perspective about the organisation's Healthy Minds initiative, that's their wellbeing program, and the benefit that the Toolbox Talks have had at team level. So we'll have a look at this video now.

    Video: Delivering the monthly Toolbox Talks has opened the wellbeing portion of one-on-one supervision sessions with employees. I've noticed employees being more open and honest about how they're feeling and being able to have honest discussions about their own mental health without the fear of worrying that they will jeopardise their employment. The Toolbox Talks have given employees the okay to say, “Hey, I'm not okay, and I need some support.”. This has allowed employees to identify strategies with their supervisors to ensure mental health safety. There's been an increase in disclosure by workers of having a mental health condition, indicating people feel safe to do this. Team members have been more open in how they can better support each other with their workloads. And there's also being increased discussion about strategies to relax and unwind at work to counter stressful situations. This in turn has given me greater insight into being more flexible and supportive and have greater awareness of how my team is travelling. A strategy I use while giving the Toolbox Talks is using myself as an example and role-modelling what I would do, or what I could do. I feel that by personalising the delivery of the Healthy Minds Toolbox Talks, this shows another level of acceptance that no one is exempt from experiencing a decline in their mental health, and that it’s not necessary to hide how you are feeling. I've had staff come up to me after delivering the Healthy Minds Toolbox Talks and thank me for being so open, and that they appreciate the Healthy Minds initiative.

Mardi Webber:   There's a longer version of this video that runs for about eight minutes. It gives a bit more information about the Healthy Minds initiative, as well as how the Toolbox Talk training sessions came about and were delivered throughout Life Without Barriers. So if you are interested in watching the longer version, you can find it on the ReturnToWorkSA website at the link shown in the slide.

Catherine Doherty:   Mardi, they are two great examples of the value the Toolbox Talks training package can offer workplaces of different sizes and in different sectors. So now that our audience have got a broad overview of the Toolbox Talks training package, Mardi is now going to step through the Educator's Guide in a bit more detail. And we'll hear some more great hints and tips and insights from Mardi's experience.

Mardi Webber:   Thanks, Catherine. So, as this slide says, “Be well prepared”, which I think we could probably say for any presentation that we give. So once you've downloaded your booklets, posters, PowerPoint presentation and have ordered your resource packs, you have all the material you’ll need to facilitate a ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’ Toolbox Talk training session. These are just some of the tips that I've found along the way that have really helped me to run the session. Read through the Educator's Guide a few times so you're familiar with the content. You don't need to know the Educator's Guide off by heart, because the educator's notes and the guides are really good. But familiarisation does help. Look at appendix one of the Educator's Guide which is found on page 25. This has a great checklist of things to organise before the training, including equipment, materials and familiarisation of the audience you'll be presenting to. Make sure you print off enough Participant's Handbooks for everyone and maybe just a couple of spares in case. Check the equipment requirements. The PowerPoint does include videos so it's really important to run the PowerPoint presentation on the big screen, if you can, and make sure the videos work and that there's sound. Consider the room setup, horseshoe is good for interaction, if you can, I've also run it in a row formation and that's been fine as well. Make sure you have a good understanding of what supports are available to staff in your workplace. So you can make up your own slide or handout with details of the services, such as, you might have Mental Health First Aiders in your workplace, or perhaps you've got an Employee Assistance Program. It's important to promote your workplace supports during the session. In addition, if you have time, you could do a bit of research about what mental health support services may exist in your local area. Quite often, you can find out this information through your local Primary Health Networks.

Let's briefly run through the Educator's Guide so we can talk you through what it contains. If you've downloaded the Educator's Guide for this webinar, I'll provide page numbers as I step you through the guide. The introduction on page three gives an overview of the aim of the training, and the learning outcomes for any manager or team leader who attends the training. This information can be useful in building your business case for running the training in your workplace. The delivery guidelines on page four also gives a run sheet of what timings should be allocated for the different topics if you're running the recommended 90-minute training session. And I found, actually, one of the hardest things in relation to the package is time management. So my suggestion would be to closely follow this time-frame as much as you can. There's a suggestion that the training session could be shortened to 60 minutes, I haven't done it in such a short time, I think, to be honest, I'd probably struggle to get through the content in 60 minutes. So if you can do it in the 90 minutes, it would be much more beneficial because you'll get a lot of group interaction, which I think is really beneficial.

Now we come to the start of the training with ‘Welcome to the Workshop’ on page five of the Educator's Guide. Due to the nature of the topics, and the fact that many participants may have some personal experience around mental health conditions, it's important to reinforce that people should look after themselves during the session, and that we will be discussing mental health supports that are available. You can see the Educator's Guide has a picture of the slide you should be on, and clear dot points with wording or instructions around what to cover for each slide. This book is designed to easily guide you through what to say and what points to cover. If you look at the Participant's Workbook, you can see that they also have a copy of the slide and a space for them to write notes. I always let participants know early on in the session, that at appendix two, page 37 of the Participant's Handbook, is an outline of the Toolbox Talks to assist them to run the Toolbox Talks to their staff, following this training session.

I'll pick one of the training sessions on page seven of the Educator's Guide, which looks at anxiety and depression, including prevalence, signs and symptoms, and personal risk and protective factors. When talking about the prevalence slide, it's also good to let participants know that anxiety and depression can be effectively treated and people can make a full recovery. However we also know that stigma, associated with mental health conditions, can prevent or delay people in getting the treatment and the support that they need. That's why talking about mental health in the workplace can be so powerful in breaking down stigma and sending the message for people to reach out and get the support that they need. Whilst the training will help participants to better recognise possible signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression, it's not designed for participants to diagnose others in the workplace, but it can be used as a guide that assistance and support may be needed. There's a couple of videos included in the PowerPoint presentation under this topic. Oli’s personal story is a great way for participants to understand how anxiety affects someone at work and how they can get better once they take action. The video of Nick's experience will help participants learn what are some of the signs that a staff member maybe struggling in the workplace.

Although Nick's workplace is a garage, which is probably not the case for many of us, it's about recognising changes in a person's body language and behaviour, no matter where their workplace is. When you go through the group or individual participant's exercises in the training package, it's good to know where the exercises are located in the Participant's Handbook. For example, signs and symptoms learning activity of Nick's experience is on page 12 of the Participant's Handbook and page 11 of the Educator's Guide. The summary at the end of topic one on page 13 of the Educator's Guide has a great quiz which provides an overall summary of what was covered in that topic. You could ask participants to write down their answers, or if time is limited, just do it verbally in a group. Remember to look at your resource pack now and to hand out the brochures and the posters that you've printed off at the end of this topic.

Topic two in the training package, on page14 of the Educator's Guide, is the relationship between the workplace and mental health. In this topic, you will look at the impact of mental health conditions on the workplace, what risk factors in the workplace can contribute to poor mental health and what protective factors can help staff stay well, and how everyone can take on the role of raising awareness and reducing stigma. When going through this topic, I always say and add that it's important to remember that work is generally good for a person's mental health and wellbeing, where they're in a good quality working environment. It gives us a sense of purpose, can increase our self-esteem and gives a sense of connection with others. However, like physical health and safety, there can be some things in the workplace that can negatively impact on our mental health. As a workplace, it's important to recognise these issues, risk factors, and to put in protective factors to minimise risks, and this is what this section is about.

Topic three in the Toolbox Talk training package on page 18 of the Educator's Guide, is taking action to support someone at work. This topic looks at how to have a conversation with someone that you're concerned about, how to support someone at work with depression or anxiety, what supports are available, and how to assist someone at work to access the appropriate support. Under this topic, there is a second part of the video of Nick's experience, which shows how a colleague, Bill, approaches Nick because he's concerned about him. This video and the accompanying activity is a great way for participants to understand that their support can make a big difference, and that having a conversation doesn't need to be hard. But they should be thoughtful in how they approach it to get the best outcome for everyone. With the starting the conversation learning activity on page 19 of the Educator's Guide, I found it best to allow 15 minutes for this exercise, so participants can share their knowledge and also gain the confidence to have a conversation with a staff member if they need to. Obviously, if time's tight, you can reduce the time if needed. It's important to emphasise again in this section, that the participant's role in having a conversation with someone that they're concerned about, is not to diagnose, counsel, or fix a problem, but to listen, be supportive, let the person know what supports are available, and to encourage them to take action. When you look at other support options on page 22 of the Educator's Guide, this is where it's a good time to talk about any supports offered by your workplace, such as EAP (Employee Assistance Program), Mental Health First Aiders, perhaps chaplains, as well as if there's any free mental health support services available in your local area.

When covering this topic, it's also a good idea to refer participants to other resources available to help them gain them more confidence in approaching someone and having a conversation. On the Heads Up website, under the ‘Supporting others’ tab, you can find the ‘Starting a conversation’ page that has some more great tips and resources to help. There's also some online training resources on the Heads Up website under ‘Online training’ on the ‘Training and resources’ tab. So you can see, a couple of these online resources are on the screen now on the right hand side. So one of them is ‘Having a conversation: Discussing mental health in the workplace’ training resource, and this gives you four different scenarios from four different types of workplaces to learn from. And the other online package that you can see is called ‘What would you do: Approaching an employee you’re concerned about’ resource. This resource is SCORM compliant, which means that you can actually upload it to your organisation's learning management system, if you have one, and all staff can access it from there. The RUOK? website is another place to get some great information on having a conversation. You could go to the ‘How to ask’ page and it covers their four simple steps to follow.

So now that the educator has gone through the three topics to participants, it's time to talk to the managers and supervisors about how they can now go back to their teams and present this information in Toolbox Talks. The Toolbox Talk tip slide on page 23 of the Educator's Guide poses a number of questions for the participants to consider. For example, questions such as; where and when do you hold your Toolbox Talk, and what key pieces of information do you want to pass on to your workers. Ask participants to write down responses to these questions and have a discussion as a group about next steps. Again, emphasise that on page 37 of the Participant's Handbook, it provides the Toolbox Talk outlines. If you have time, it could be helpful for the participants to look at the Toolbox Talk outlines together, and to give suggestions about how they can now go back to their teams and start a conversation with their teams about mental health. For example, the manager might say, “I recently attended a ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’ Toolbox Talk training session. As part of the training, I've now been asked to come back and provide some Toolbox Talks to staff. And the first topic I'm going to be covering today is about anxiety and depression.”. The manager can then go through the dot points, provide any handouts, and then let staff know when they'll be running the next Toolbox Talk. From an organisational-wide perspective, it is good to consider early in the planning process, how you're going to monitor which managers and supervisors are undertaking the Toolbox Talks, and also how to gather any feedback from the sessions. I will now hand you over to Catherine to talk about other considerations.

Catherine Doherty:   Thanks, Mardi. So everyone, you can see that the guide gives you everything that you need to run the training, and Mardi has shared a lot of great tips from her own experience to help ensure that your session is equally successful. But some other things that perhaps you'd like to remember or consider; just remember that the workshop is delivered by nominated people within your organisation. That may be, the Work Health Safety Manager, the HR Manager, a workplace educator or perhaps a really passionate or interested manager or team leader. There's no need to be qualified in psychology or counselling to be able to deliver the Toolbox Talks training sessions. They are simply facilitators of the session and it's okay if they don't know all of the answers to the questions that participants will ask. Simply just write them down and then let them know that you'll follow up after the session in regards to queries. This also goes for the participants of the training who will be delivering the Toolbox Talks to their staff. Do assure them that they don't need to have all of the answers to any questions that come up. They can direct them, and perhaps give them some suggestions about who in your workplace they could go to, to get advice or information. Or maybe use one of the support numbers in the pack if you need more help. Also keep in mind that the training that you deliver doesn't need to be perfect or highly polished. It's the start of a conversation, and as with most things, the more opportunity that you have to deliver it, the better and more confident that it will become, and the participants will enjoy it.

Also, don't forget that the appendix in the books has a lot of useful information about the workshop preparation checklist and some general training tips and hints. And you could also remind your training participants that supports are available for them should the training raise any concerns. We do request that you respect the terms of use of the materials in the package; the PowerPoint slides, the videos and the other content cannot be altered, adapted, edited or modified in any way. And I'd encourage you to check out the Heads Up website for a range of free and supporting resources and other online training programs that would compliment the training session that you run and you can add those to the Toolbox Talk sessions. Also, encourage your participants to familiarise themselves with the website too and so that they can let their staff know what's available and that there is some great information on it around taking care of their own mental health and how they can support others in their teams. We encourage you to use and share the Heads Up resources, because it's really important to get more people talking about mental health in the workplace.

We're now going to go to our next poll question. We'd just like to gauge; how confident do you feel now to deliver a Toolbox Talk training session in your workplace, after the conversation and the hints and tips that Mardi shared? That's a great response! We have more people looking to be feeling somewhat confident, and a few people already feeling extremely confident. So that's really great. The purpose of this session, as I'd said earlier, was to build your confidence, to download the material and take them back to your workplace and share them so that's a really great response.

But just moving back to the last sections of the presentation. We're now at the end and we will summarise the session and we'll take some questions. So just in summary, the Toolbox Talks training package is a cost-effective way of raising awareness of mental health issues in the workplace and reducing stigma, and it demonstrates an employer's commitment to mentally healthy workplaces, and that that's coming from a manager level. It's great for up-skilling managers and employees with confidence to have conversations and provide support for each other in the workplace. And it's a way to disseminate information about the supports that are available at your workplace and in the local community. All of the resources that you need to undertake the training are free, and they provide clear, step-by-step guides on how anyone can pick up the package and facilitate the training and run the Toolbox Talk training session. And we've seen from the testimonial and the video that Mardi shared with us, that it is of great benefit to organisations who are looking to be more mentally healthy.

Now we just want to test our final poll question and get a sense of whether you would actually consider, now, running a mental health Toolbox Talk training session with your managers in your workplace. And they are great responses. So we have some people who would definitely feel confident and capable to go ahead and deliver the package as it is. And yes, agreed, that some others might need some further research, and absolutely would encourage you to access any of the information on the Heads Up website, to help you to build your confidence and your knowledge about the topics that you'll be discussing. So just moving now into the final part of the presentation, and we'll have some time for questions.

Mardi Webber:   Okay, thank you everyone, thanks for listening. What we're going to do now is to look at some of the questions.

Catherine Doherty:  

So Mardi, I'll take the first question. There's been a few people just asking whether the seminar will be available to be played back, and absolutely, all of our webinars are recorded, and they will be available on the Heads Up website in a few weeks, so keep an eye out. For those people who have registered, you'll be sent a direct link to the webinar recording.

Mardi Webber:   Okay there's another person, I guess who has made a comment just in relation to whether they have a staff member that does have a mental health condition and they're not sure, sometimes, how to have that conversation with that staff member. So certainly, what I'd encourage you to do is have a look at some of the materials that we talked about in the Heads Up website about having a conversation. And particularly the online resources are really good because you can actually see the scenario of someone that's struggling in the workplace, and you actually see the manager then having a conversation with that worker. It's really good for up-skilling yourself within that area. And so there is certainly on the Heads Up website a lot more information to gain more confidence in that area.

So Catherine, another question that came through was, “Do you have a recommendation as how many people, maximum, you have in any one training session?”. That's a really good question that's come through. The training sessions that I've run and help run with the educators within the workplace, we've actually limited the session to about 20 staff or 20 managers and supervisors. Now you could have more, but I think what I find is if there's about 20, it means that you've got really good interaction when it comes to those group exercises. So if you can have a group of about 20, that would be my recommendation.

Catherine Doherty:   Mardi, I'd also just point out that the pack that comes with the mental health Toolbox Talk training package, the resource pack, there's 10 items in each pack. So, if you are training more than 10 people at a time, you'll need to just download or order some additional resources that then your participants can take away with you.

Mardi Webber:   Okay we've got one here, Catherine. “I work in a university environment…”. Sorry, the question's just gone. I think it was saying that, “I work in a university environment. Will it be appropriate to run the Toolbox Talk training package?”. Definitely. I haven't run it in a university environment, but I've certainly run it in quite a number of different organisations; aged care, construction, mining, disability sector, and I’ve found that the package is actually useful for any type of industry. And when it comes to certain sections like, for example, when we start talking about the relationship between the workplace and mental health, that's where you can start bringing in some of maybe the differences that you might have within different workplaces or industries, and you can actually have a conversation about those different risk factors and protective factors that may be appropriate within a university sector, for example.

Catherine Doherty:    I just noticed there was another question about where to download the resources, and so Mardi went through this in the presentation, but on the Heads Up website, under the ‘Training and resources’ tab, under ‘Education and training’, there's the ‘Toolbox Talks’ tab there. And what we're talking about today is the all workplaces Toolbox Talk, and I mentioned earlier that there's also the union version if you're in a union workplace or you're a union delegate.

Mardi Webber:   Okay Catherine, there's a question about, “Will the participants be receiving a certificate of participation in this webinar?”. Can you respond to that one? Is that okay?

Catherine Doherty:  

Yeah, absolutely. Look, we don't issue certificates of attendance for our webinar packages. I guess it would be up to organisations, whether they wanted to institute a certificate of attendance for people that they've trained, who've undertaken the training. So if you're a manager or a supervisor, and you've actually participated in a Toolbox Talk training session, then perhaps your organisation will issue you with a certificate, but that's not something that we can do for participants of this webinar.

Mardi Webber:   Okay, there's one here, this is quite an interesting one, “How do we get the message across to staff who are resistant to things like RUOK? Day?”. I think that it's about starting a conversation, which I think Catherine talked about during the webinar. I think that the more we can start talking about mental health in the workplace, the more it will become part of normal practice like we do need physical health in the workplace. I guess my recommendation would be that if you want to run a session like RUOK? Day, perhaps find some workplace champions that are as passionate as you about workplace mental health, and see if you can, as a group, run a session within the organisation, or maybe just run something for your team. So I always say, when it comes to workplace mental health, you start in small steps and you build from there. So don't be discouraged by it, but certainly, I'd be encouraging everyone to start those conversations.

Catherine Doherty:   And I think also Mardi, I might add onto that, there's still, we've still got a little way to go in terms of convincing people that mental health is a workplace issue. Some of the resistance might be coming from there, but really, the workplace is a great place in terms of a platform and to be able to educate staff. We talk about physical health and wellbeing quite easily in a workplace sitting, and now it's time to start talking about mental health as well.

Mardi Webber:  

Okay, there's another one here, Catherine, “Would you have these talks in a team if some of your team members may have a mental health condition?” and my answer would be, yes, definitely. Have a conversation. Look, if those staff have actually disclosed to you that they have a mental health condition and they're open in relation to that, as a manager or supervisor, maybe have a conversation with them and just say, ”Look, we're going to be running this Toolbox Talk session. We want to actually get everyone within our organisation to have a better understanding of mental health conditions, about signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression, and ways that we can all actually have conversations if we think one of our teammates might be struggling in the workplace.”. So I would certainly still encourage those conversations to occur.

Catherine Doherty:  

And I think that's really great advice, Mardi. Perhaps something to consider, maybe, is to have a conversation with that affected staff member before you deliver the Toolbox Talk, so that they're forewarned, and they know what's coming, and then they may not be then negatively affected by the conversation or they might actually think that they've got something really positive to contribute to that conversation.

Mardi Webber:  

Okay in a small organisation, there's a question here in relation to, “Whether one person could be both the educator and participant, and then deliver the Toolbox Talks?”. Definitely. I think if I can get this question right, hopefully I've got it right, is that you would actually provide the education to the rest of the team. But then you would then go back to your team and run it and deliver it to your teams as far as the Toolbox Talk goes. If that's what that participant was saying, then definitely, you could do both. You could be the educator, and you could also be the manager going back to your team and delivering the Toolbox Talk.

Catherine Doherty:   So I'm just picking up on a question that I'm seeing there, “Is it possible to pick up the resources pack directly as a delivery only?”. So all of our resources can be ordered online, and then they're delivered by post so that they can be delivered to the workplace that it's happening at, or it can be delivered to the venue wherever your training's taking place. But no, there isn't any capacity to kind of drop by and pick up the package resources.

Mardi Webber:   Catherine, there's a question here, “Do employees have an obligation to seek help for their mental health conditions after a manager has had a conversation with them?”. 

Catherine Doherty:  

That's a really great question. I guess we'd encourage people to seek help, but there isn't any obligation forcing them to go and seek help after they've participated in a Toolbox Talk conversation or any other conversation about their mental health. There's certainly stigma in our community about seeking help for mental health, and so that might be part of that reluctance, but it might also mean that the person needs some reassurance. And so whatever the manager or colleagues can do to support that person at the workplace, until the time that they're ready to get help, might be really important for them.

I've got a question that I'm seeing now, and it's, “What is the most appropriate way to record a conversation?”. I'm not really sure what that might mean. So in terms of, if it's delivering the Toolbox Talk conversation, we wouldn't say that you would need to kind of record that. If it's a one-on-one conversation that you're having with a staff member, I would suggest that an employer would just record that conversation in the same way that you would record any other conversation that you have with a staff member; meeting notes, things that you've discussed, recommendations, suggestions, next steps and follow ups, and dates that you've agreed that you'll have another conversation.

 Mardi Webber:   Okay I've got one here, Catherine, “Could the educator session with the leaders be done via webinar or teleconference? Not ideal, but with multiple locations. I'm interested in hearing your feedback.”. So thank you, that's a really great question, because we do know that workplaces, you know, can have multiple sites and some of them may actually be in remote locations. I actually think, with today's technology, definitely, you could do that. So I think that if you can set up some technology where you can get some interaction with the people at the other end, that would be really good, and just I guess just make sure you've got the appropriate connections so you can show the videos. I didn't actually say during the webinar, but just to let you know, if you do find you've got problems with the videos, I've certainly run a session where I had no sound, so beginner's sort of trick, I think, but there are transcripts in both the Participant's Guide and the Educator's Guide. So if you do find that you are running the sessions in multiple locations, maybe sound drops out, you can let participants know, have a look at the transcripts, and it has all the information about the videos as well.

Catherine Doherty:   Mardi, I’d just to add to that, if people are thinking about delivering training to multiple sites at the same time, just to make sure that the resource pack that you order is actually ordered for each of those sites so that everyone who's tuning in to that webcast training actually has the resources that they need to follow on and that makes it a meaningful session for them.

Mardi Webber:   Now, an organisation has put through a question, “I only have four managers. Is it still as effective?”. Absolutely. Absolutely, definitely. I think it would be fantastic for the educator to run that package with those four managers, and for those managers then to be able to go back to their teams and run those Toolbox Talk sessions, so with only four in the group, it probably means that you can actually spend more time with that group discussion and interaction. So I think you'll get a lot out of session.

Catherine Doherty:   I'm just seeing another question, and this is clarifying the purpose of today really. So the materials that we went through is to assist you to deliver the 90-minute training for the educators in your workplace. So the managers, who will then take that information back to their workplace and deliver a five-minute Toolbox Talk session. So it's three, five-minute Toolbox Talk sessions, and that's the content of the training session, that you as the workplace educator will deliver to your managers. And then the flow on effect is for them to start having those conversations with their staff.

Mardi Webber:   Thanks, Catherine. There's a question here about, “Would you recommend managers replace the Toolbox Talks with a cautionary message about the fact that we're talking about mental health and that it could raise issues or concerns?”. I think that's a good idea. Whenever I talk about mental health in the workplace, I always let people know that it might raise issues or concerns, depending on what's happening in a person's life at that time. And sometimes we don't know everything that’s happening in a person's life. So I always definitely say, “Look, if it does raise any issues or concerns, we'll be talking about what supports are available, whether that be workplace support or supports through the Beyond Blue Support Service.”. But also, I guess as a manager or supervisor, you could say, and certainly, “Look if it has raised any issues or concern, I'm available after the session for you to have a conversation with me one-on-one.”. That's the way I would go about in relation to the introduction of that.

Catherine Doherty:   We've had a couple of questions raised about, “Whether an independent training consultant could use these resources to deliver the training to various workplaces?”. That's a really interesting question. Because the resources are provided by Beyond Blue for employers and they are free of charge, it's not appropriate for a consultant to download the training and then charge for the delivery of the package. However, if as part of another arrangement that you have with that consultant, that that's your only option, then perhaps that's a conversation you'd like to have with Beyond Blue.

Mardi Webber:   Catherine, there's a question here that you might be able to answer, and that is, “Could you please let me know again where the SCORM packages are?”.

Catherine Doherty:
  Sure, so on the Heads Up website, on the ‘Training and resources’ tab, there is ‘Training course’ area and there's ‘Online sessions’. So there's ‘Training providers’ and then there's ‘Online training’. If you click through into the ‘Online training’ you'll see all of the online training modules that we have and the two SCORM modules are actually highlighted there.

Mardi Webber:   Catherine, there's another one here, “Do you have resources for those with English as a second language?” and I think that might have to be our last question, but can I provide that one over to you?

Catherine Doherty:   Great, thanks Mardi. Currently, the resources that we have with this package are currently in English, and I'm not aware that we have them in any other languages at this stage.

Mardi Webber:   I think that we've run out of time, Catherine.

Catherine Doherty:  

We certainly are, we're just about out of time and just enough time for us to make some concluding remarks and finish up. But if we didn't get to your question today due to the time limitations, and there have been lots of questions, so thank you very much, and you can keep them coming until we actually finalise the webinar. What we will do is that we will provide a question and answer sheet following the webinar, and we'll attach that to the webinar link on the Heads Up website, so that everyone who's had a question, we'll get that answered to you if we haven't answered it already.

But just in closing, I'd really like to thank everyone for participating in today's webinar, titled ‘How to run a Mental Health Toolbox Talk session in your workplace’. I hope that we've been able to provide you with some helpful guidance on how to do this and that you now feel more confident to start undertaking some sessions in your workplace. We will have this webinar up on the Heads Up website in a couple of weeks, as I've said, so do keep an eye out and a link will be emailed to you if you've registered for the webinar. You might also be interested to know that our next webinar will be held in early October, and this will be on workplace mental health awareness, so this is relevant for all levels of staff, so I'd encourage you to tune into this, it might be something that you then want to play later to a broader group in your workplace. As you've registered to participate in the webinar, you'll receive an invitation to attend the next webinar closer to that date. Another way that you can stay informed is to join Heads Up via the Heads Up website, takes you 30 seconds to register. By doing this, you can save some progress on any action tools or plans that you develop with some of the tools that we have online, and you’ll also be sent a monthly e-update, where we can keep you informed and up-to-date of any new resources that we launch or upcoming events that we may be holding, and we can share some tips with you that will help you to make your workplace more mentally healthy.

Mardi Webber:   Thanks, everyone, for joining us today. 

Catherine Doherty:   Enjoy the rest of the day and goodbye.

Mardi Webber:   Goodbye.