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Mental Health Policy

02 Apr 16:00 by Gail Whipper

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I hope you are all in good health at this unsettling time. I have included a template for a Mental Health Policy for your organisation. I hope you find it useful.

 

 

Mental Health Policy

 

  1. Purpose
    1. Whipper Recruitment  aims to facilitate and promote positive mental health among staff by providing a safe and supportive work environment and encouraging staff to take responsibility for their own mental health and wellbeing.
  2. Scope
    1. This policy applies to all employees of Enter Employer Name (whether full-time, part-time or casual) and all persons performing work at the direction of, or on behalf of Enter Employer Name.
  3. Commencement
    1. This policy will commence from Enter Commencement Date. It replaces any other Enter Employer Name policies (written or not) dealing with employee mental health.
  4. Positive Mental Health
    1. Positive mental health is characterised by feeling good and functioning well.  According to the World Health Organization, mental health is a state of well-being in which a person can:
  • cope with the normal stresses of life;
  • work productively and fruitfully;
  • realise their potential; and
  • contribute to the community.
    1. Your mental health is as important as your physical health. Research has shown that you can help to build and maintain your mental health by taking some simple steps, including:
  • socialising with your friends, family and others in the community;
  • engaging in regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, avoiding excess alcohol or other drugs, and going for regular check-ups with your doctor;
  • identifying your strengths and using them to help others or contribute to the community;
  • engaging in meaningful work, including volunteering, helping a neighbour or performing small acts of kindness; and
  • taking time to relax and do the things you really enjoy.
    1. If you are interested in other ways for building and maintaining positive mental health, we recommend that you see your doctor or a mental health professional.
  1. Mental Illness
    1. A mental illness is a medical condition that impacts a person’s thoughts, feelings or behaviour. Common examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is estimated that nearly half of all Australians will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.
    2. You may be at risk of a mental illness if you are experience one or more of the following:
  • feeling depressed or unhappy for an extended period;
  • losing motivation or interest in a favourite hobby;
  • prolonged anxiety, including heart palpitations, shortness of breath, headache, restlessness, diarrhoea or a racing mind;
  • sudden and dramatic changes in mood, such as extreme distress or anger;
  • changing sleep patterns or getting too much or too little sleep;
  • fluctuating weight or rapid weight loss;
  • being quiet or withdrawn or refusing to join in social activities;
  • excessive use of alcohol or other drugs;
  • feeling guilty, worthless or consistently criticising oneself;
  • changes in behaviour or feelings, including where you don’t seem “quite right”.
    1. If you think you might have a mental illness, you should seek help from a health professional. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you can start to recover.
  1. Seeking Help
    1. When seeking help regarding a mental health issue, a general practitioner (GP) doctor is often a good starting point. A GP doctor will usually be able to:
  • make a diagnosis;
  • check for any physical health problem or medication that may be contributing to any mental health conditions;
  • provide information and discuss available treatments;
  • provide support and counselling;
  • prescribe medication;
  • refer you to a mental health specialist such as a psychologist or psychiatrist; and/or
  • schedule regular appointments to check on your progress.
    1. A number of organisations in Australia provide free support and education for people who are experiencing mental health issues. The table below sets out some of the key support organisations and their contact details:

Beyond Blue

Support for people experiencing depression and anxiety

1300 22 4636

The MindSpot Clinic

Support for people experiencing stress, anxiety, low mood or depression

1800 61 44 34

eheadspace

Mental health support for people under 25

1800 650 890

MensLine Australia

Mental health support for men

1300 78 99 78

Qlife

Mental health support for LGBTI people

1800 184 527

Lifeline

Crisis support and suicide prevention

13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service 

Support for people feeling suicidal

1300 659 467

SANE Australia

Support, training and education for people with a mental illness

1800 18 7263

 

If the Employer has an Employee Assistance Program, include the following clause. Otherwise, remove it from the document.

  1. You can also seek help via our Employee Assistance Program on Enter Contact Number. Service offered by the company’s Employee Assistance Program include: Enter a brief description of services offered by the Employee Assistance Program.

If the Employer would like to include a specific Contact Person, include the following clause. Otherwise, remove it from the document.

  1. Enter Employer Name aims to provide an environment where employees feel comfortable raising and discussing concerns about mental health. If you have any concerns about your own mental health, or the mental health of a co-worker, we welcome you to contact your manager or our Enter Position Title.
  2. Enter Employer Name appreciates that any information regarding your health is sensitive information and should be treated accordingly.

Variations

Enter Employer Name reserves the right to vary, replace or terminate this policy from time to time.

This policy does not form part of any contract of employment or contract for services.

 

 

Policy Authorised by: Enter Name

Title: Enter Position

Original issue: Enter Date

Policy Maintained by: Enter Name

Title: Enter Position

Current version: Enter Version Number

Review date: Enter Date

 

 

Employee acknowledgement

I acknowledge:

  • receiving the policy;
  • that I will comply with the policy; and
  • that there may be disciplinary consequences if I fail to comply, which may result in the termination of my employment.

Employee name:

Signed:

Date: