Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace - A Resource

The Western Australian resources sector is committed to ensuring the mental health and wellbeing of its workforce, as part of its ongoing commitment to health and safety.

As industry strives towards continuous improvement in all areas of safety and health the approach to mental health and wellbeing has evolved from reactive compliance based responses to proactive, tailored and diverse wellness programs.

As part of this journey CME recently released the Mental Health Blueprint to encourage industry to strive towards improving mental health and wellbeing across the workforce. The Blueprint utilises a risk management approach to addressing mental health within the workplace and allows companies to tailor strategies and programs based on their specific needs and risk profiles.

To further support the Blueprint, CME has updated the Mental Health website to provide additional tools, guides, research and other resources relating to wellbeing in the resource sector workplace. 

Please note this is not an exhaustive list of resources. CME will seek to continually update this information and include new information once it becomes available.

If you are aware of additional freely accessible resources which are not already listed please don’t hesitate to contact:  Adrienne LaBombard on

Each of the headings below links back to the ‘Recommended Actions’ for implementation of wellbeing strategies in the resource sector outlined in the Blueprint. Under each heading you will find links to a range of additional resources which we hope will provide additional information and assistance in support of wellbeing strategy development.   

The Webpage will also feature a company case study to be updated quarterly. 

Companies with an interest in profiling the great work you are already doing in this space should contact Adrienne LaBombard on .

 

Case Study - Rio Tinto Iron Ore Peer Support Programme

A person’s health and wellbeing is influenced by numerous factors including social, biological, physical, psychological, and other individual traits. Throughout life people can experience a range of stressors that may affect their ability to cope with one or more aspects of their life, and recent statistics indicate that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition at some point.

Whilst Rio Tinto Iron Ore in Western Australia (WA) has provided an Employee Assistance Programme service to employees for over 20 years, we recognised that with such a large and diverse workforce, working across multiple, often remote regions of WA, providing an additional option for seeking support in the workplace was important. The Peer Support Programme was identified as an opportunity to provide additional support to our workforce and encourage employees to create a work environment where it is acceptable to have conversations about how they are feeling.

A pilot Peer Support Programme commenced initially at our Yandicoogina operations in 2012. This pilot generated a great amount of interest across the business, which led to the roll out of the programme across Rio Tinto’s 15 sites and divisions across the Pilbara and Perth.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s Peer Support Programme seeks to build the capability and resilience of its workforce by training volunteer employees to provide a listening ear to assist workmates in dealing with day-to-day challenges. Peer Supporters provide information on resources, facilitate pathways for additional assistance, and encourage early access to other support services. In three years over 430 Peer Supporters have been trained to support a workforce of around 12,500 employees across a large geographical area, including the Pilbara and Perth. The programme has resulted in positive outcomes for many employees and the programme’s success can be attributed to its strategic implementation, engagement with managers to advocate, drive and support the programme along with the other key Peer Support roles who continue to contribute to the ongoing success of the programme.

Leadership and Effective Policy

Leadership

  • Identify objectives, develop the business case for action and gain support from leadership
  • Demonstrate leadership commitment to the mental health strategy, its implementation and monitoring
  • Develop a whole of organisation mental health strategy in collaboration with employees
  • Establish effective strategies to communicate the strategy to all staff
  • Ensure governance for strategy with clear accountabilities for implementation and monitoring
  • Allocate resources to support the strategy
  • Promote sustainability of the program through policy and leadership
  • Develop and implement robust measurement strategy to monitor and evaluate performance of the program.

Effective Policy

  • Ensure resources sector policies focus on promoting mental health and wellbeing, preventing mental ill-health and supporting those with mental ill-health to stay at or return to work
  • Review current opportunities and challenges in company processes to address risk and protective factors for mental ill-health regularly identified
  • Undertake routine review of risk factors that contribute to mental health problems as part of risk assessment and control processes
  • Ensure management of critical events occurs in a manner that reduces psychological risks to the extent possible and supports ongoing psychological safety

Selection of Available Resources:

Education, Training and Health Promotion

  • Implement programs tailored to enhance mental health skills among health personnel working across the resources sector which includes:
    • Knowledge and understanding about mental ill-health and its impacts
    • Importance of good physical health and mental wellbeing
    • Address stigma that exists about mental ill-health
  • Implement programs aimed at building employee resilience through improved coping skills and social support
  • Implement training programs for supervisors and managers that:
    • Support early recognition and early intervention for mental ill-health
    • Build capacity to effectively support people in the workplace who are experiencing mental ill-health
    • Promote constructive and supportive workplace interactions, including prevention of bullying and harassment in the workplace

Selection of Available Resources:

Diversity

Bullying and Harassment

Fatigue

Training

Promoting and Supporting Access to Care

  • Support mental health needs through existing workforce services such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) and occupational health staff
  • Review existing support systems (including EAP systems) to support industry approach to intervening early and effectively to mental-ill health
  • Review health and safety policies/systems to ensure support for people experiencing mental ill-health stay at or return to work (RTW)
  • Integrate evidence-based mental health-related initiatives within general workplace health programs
  • Ensure linkages with existing health, welfare and relevant community services to support early access to effective assistance for mental health problems (including substance use), and factors that might be associated with such problems (e.g. financial, family, legal concerns). These should include links to effective online options, integration of both online and face-face education
  • Provide clear assessment and timely referral pathways for employees
  • Ensure mental health assessments included as part of RTW programs and address environmental

Selection of Available Resources:

Resourcing and Partnership Opportunities

  • Establish links between resources sector companies and existing programs and organisations to support the development of mental health promotion messages and strategies for the resources sector and broader community
  • Establish mental health networks in the resources sector

Selection of Available Resources:

Research and Development

  • Build partnerships between resources sector and research institutions to build the evidence base for effective strategies
  • Develop understanding about the prevalence, determinants and impact of mental ill-health across the resources sector
  • Develop an evidence-base for effective mental health programs in the resources sector

Selection of Available Resources:

Please note this is not an exhaustive list of resources.  CME will seek to continually update this information and include new information once it becomes available.

If you are aware of additional freely accessible resources which are not already listed please don’t hesitate to contact:  Adrienne LaBombard on