Mental Health Improvement Fund round two recipients
Six organisations looking to make a difference to the mental health and wellbeing of Victorian workers have received funding through round two of the WorkWell Mental Health Improvement Fund.
The Ageing Workforce Ready (AWR) project is an innovative collaboration between Australia's largest industry super fund AustralianSuper, and organisational psychology practitioners, Transitioning Well.
The project aims to protect and promote the mental health and wellbeing of ageing workers in the public transport industry. This will be achieved through the delivery of resources and advice to a pilot group of Victorian workplaces and their employees.
Activities will target Human Resource and Executive decision makers. Policies and procedures will be reviewed to provide guidance on eliminating, substituting and redesigning systems and processes to support ageing workers. Managers will be upskilled to support employees. Employees will be equipped with the knowledge and resources to navigate the challenges and opportunities of late career.
Blended learning approaches will be explored for scalability and sustainability. The learnings of the project will be shared with over 100,000 Victorian businesses using the AustralianSuper network.
Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU)
Vicarious Trauma is an occupational challenge for many Victorian Government Departments . The personal impact and cost to the workplace is high. There are many frontline employees working across Victorian Government Departments who are vulnerable to the mental health impacts of exposure to trauma.
CPSU will work in partnership with the Departments of Justice and Community Safety and Health and Human Services, on a project to develop customised resources that provide knowledge and skills for government departments to address the trauma needs of staff, and create supportive trauma informed workplaces. This will be achieved through the development of an evidence-informed Vicarious Trauma Toolkit.
The toolkit will include customised tools and resources for workplaces or departments, and will help build capacity of departments to proactively address trauma impact through policies, procedures, practices, and programs. It will assist departments prioritise organisational change, and identify needs to mitigate risk and prevent trauma related mental health injury and illness.
Cross Yarra Partnership Design and Construction
Cross Yarra Partnership Design and Construction's 'Sense of Place' initiative targets the construction industry as it undergoes unprecedented change as a workforce.
The initiative is designed to address mental health and reshape the culture of construction by targeting connection, belonging, respect and support. A technology platform will host resources for employees and managers, and facilitate communication amongst the workforce reducing isolation and increasing the sense of belonging.
Recognising the importance of family/support networks, programs will be developed to engage and educate workers and their families to support a mentally healthy environment away from the workplace. New entrants to the industry will be supported and mentored as they navigate through an unfamiliar industry.
Supporting this is a program empowering People Leaders in the identification and intervention of mental health risks in the workplace, whilst building resilience skills when dealing with adversity.
In recognition of the role of workplaces in the prevention on family violence and associated mental health problems, Cross Yarra Partnership Design and Construction will work towards White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation.
Learnings will be validated, and research published by RMIT to the benefit of the wider industry.
Cross Yarra Partnership Design and Construction is a consortium comprising John Holland, Lendlease and Bouygues Construction contracted to deliver the Tunnels and Stations package of works for the Metro Tunnel Project.
Peninsula Health is leading a project on behalf of a consortium of 12 Victorian Health Services, aiming to develop mentally healthy workplaces with cultures that promote and facilitate employee mental health and wellbeing. All knowledge and resources will be shared across this group of more than 80,000 health workers.
The 'We Care' project will take a multifaceted approach by focussing on increasing knowledge and competencies within each organisation for individuals, managers and executives to prevent, identify and manage mental health injuries and illnesses within the workplace. The project will expand on and develop new employee Peer Support Programs and will trial 'tap out' and roster change systems in high risk areas as well as trialling staff sensory rooms to reduce the impact of workplace trauma.
The Wellbeing Track and Change project aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of frontline workers in residential aged care services.
Using a participatory implementation and evaluation approach, Prevention United and Federation University Australia will work with staff and management at Ballarat Health Services to design and evaluate a digital monitoring and decision support system to improve the work environment, and protect workers' mental wellbeing. The project will focus on staff and management working in Ballarat Health Services's 10 residential aged care facilities which collectively employ over 500 staff.
Prevention United, Federation University and Ballarat Health Services will work with industry stakeholders and examine opportunities to scale up the program to other residential aged care organisations and sectors.
Smiling Mind will work with Victorian primary school principals and deputy principals to take a system-level approach to collaboratively improve school culture and climate and enhance workplace protective factors associated with principal wellbeing and mental health.
Traditionally principals are an ageing worker subset in the primary school setting, experiencing well documented workplace mental health issues. As leaders they also have a key role in building workplace cultures. This project aims to not only support principal wellbeing, but further embed mindfulness via a whole-school approach, led from the top.
Schools will be supported to document a plan of continual improvement to support sustainable change.
Smiling Mind will work with 80 school leaders and the wider teaching workforces over three years to:
- Co-design a cultural and environmental change framework that is underpinned by mindfulness principles and practices, customised to each school and integrated across the school learning and working environments.
- Provide school leaders and staff with training that can support them to lead the cultural change process, implement the program across their school and establish a proactive approach to school wide mental health.
- Establish communities of practice between schools, ensuring ongoing program sustainability, and the continued evolution of mindfulness approaches in education.