Work is Mental forum supporting employers with best practice in the workplace

Launceston Work is Mental forum supporting employers with best practice in the workplace

 

Jessica Willard

The Examiner Newspaper

November 18 2018

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OzHelp Tasmania Foundation workplace trainer Wendy French, CVGT Launceston disability employment services manager Alexis Smith and Healthy Tasmania managing director Lucy Byrne, ahead of Tuesday's Work is Mental forum. Picture: Phillip Biggs

 OzHelp Tasmania Foundation workplace trainer Wendy French, CVGT Launceston disability employment services manager Alexis Smith and Healthy Tasmania managing director Lucy Byrne, ahead of Tuesday's Work is Mental forum. Picture: Phillip Biggs

An honest conversation about mental health aims to break down barriers preventing people from thriving in the workplace. 

Starting Tuesday, the free workshop series Work is Mental aims to connect job seekers, employers and employees with mental health support services. 

Organised by CVGT, disability employment services manager Alexis Smith said there was still many gaps to be filled surrounding long term and chronic mental illness in the workplace. 

RELATED: Mental Health Council Tasmania calls for a conversation beyond 'just beds'

“I have had lots of employers tell me they have lots of education and support in place in their workplace, but I have had lots of employees tell me it is not enough and it doesn’t quite address the deeper issues,” she said.

“We are hoping for an open and honest conversation where people can break down the fear barrier and run towards the issue, instead of running away from it.”

According to a recent report by Safe Work Australia, 7200 Australians are compensated for work-related mental health conditions each year. This equates to about 6 per cent of all workers’ compensation claims and almost $543 million. 

Healthy Tasmania managing director Lucy Byrne, one of the project partners who have helped develop the series, said the workshops were a proactive response aimed at instigating change.  

RELATED: Healthy Tasmania recognised at Launceston Chamber of Commerce business awards

“There is a lot of things that are happening in the community around mental health, but defining or concentrating on mental health in the work place was a gap that CGVT isolated and identified,” she said. 

“So we looked at how we could do something that was supportive of different cohorts in the community, and came up with a schedule to approach different target groups at different times.

“To have a really open discussion, but a facilitated discussion as well. It is really important that we provide a safe environment for the people who come along.”

Tuesday’s workshop, aimed at employers, will take place from 5.30pm to 7.30pm at CVGT, 2/87 George Street, Launceston. To register of for more information email hayden.fox@healthytasmania.com.au. 

 

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This article first appeared in The Examiner newspaper here

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