In November 2012 we held one of our most successful forums (judging by the feedback received), Mental Health and the Workplace.  This forum attracted over 400 public sector employees and our feedback is saying we can’t stop there.  In collaboration with Beyondblue we are developing workshops that will address various topics under the banner of ‘Mental Health and the Workplace’.

Workshop 1 – Mental Health and the Workplace: Difficult Conversations

This workshop is designed not only to educated managers as to their responsibilities in managing mental health of their staff, but also how to go about having those difficult conversations with staff.

Many managers are not aware what ‘mental health issues’ actually means in behavioural terms. An aim of this workshop is to de-mystify the term ‘mental health issues’ into real world, understandable concepts with real life case studies and examples. This forms the basis of developing skills for difficult conversations: understanding the problem. We will discuss why these are difficult conversations referencing our general reluctance to “pry into other’s private business”. What happens if that ‘private business’ starts to impact work performance? We will look at guidelines and obligations upon employers and managers under WHS as well as the Public Sector Act. Prior to engaging more formal processes, we will look at communication skills for managers in how to approach staff and how to frame conversations around the intersection between mental health and performance.