Expanding its workplace health program to put a greater focus on mental health has netted Hydro Tasmania a national award.
Hydro Tasmania won the Workplace Life Award for its A New Mindset program at the 2019 National Suicide Prevention Australia Conference.
A New Mindset includes training, information and support and was developed through collaboration with OzHelp Tasmania.
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Hydro Tasmania chief executive Steve Davy said workplace surveys and feedback identified stress, anxiety and depression as an increasing concern across the organisation.
"In response, Hydro Tasmania expanded its existing healthy workplace program to increase the focus on mental health and well-being, reduce stigma, encourage early intervention and support and increase suicide awareness," Mr Davy said.
Introductory sessions are held for new employees as part of their induction, with regular sessions held for all employees quarterly focusing on a different topic each time.
"To ensure that no employees were left behind, the program was rolled out across the whole of business, including remote site areas," he said.
Hydro Tasmania's remote sites participate quarterly as part of their regular team meetings.
OzHelp Tasmania staff travel to regional and remote locations to provide face-to-face services and the same facilitator often returns to each location so staff can build rapport with them over time.
In addition, all Hydro Tasmania managers are trained in identifying and managing mental health and well-being to create a safe, healthy and supportive environment for employees.
The program has been running for four years, with Hydro Tasmania's statistics showing "a small decrease in total sick leave over the past 12 months", Mr Davy said.
"A New Mindset has also significantly increased suicide awareness and alertness. Evaluation of the program has demonstrated that 75 per cent of participants now feel comfortable talking to others about suicide and 100 per cent indicate that they are aware of the supports available," he said.
Contact OzHelp Tasmania by phoning 6231 0919 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss running similar programs within your organisation.
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