After months of hard work and planning, Central Gippsland Health (CGH) has achieved the benchmark for the Mental Health and Wellbeing health priority area of the State Government’s Healthy Workplaces Achievement Program.
By meeting this benchmark, CGH has initiated positive change in health behaviours within the organisation.
To achieve the benchmarks for its chosen health priority area, CGH worked through an evidence-based health and wellbeing framework aligned with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) model for health.
CGH Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Frank Evans, said it was vital staff were supported to stay mentally healthy.
“To reach the benchmarks within the program, staff were encouraged to tailor a work routine that best supported their health and their work,” he explained. “This included a range of quiet reflection spaces, outdoor meeting areas, flexible work arrangements and wellbeing supports such as bike rack facilities, and confidential counselling.”
CGH understands that a healthy work environment provides staff with a sense of community, builds self-esteem and achievement which can drive productivity and positive culture.”
“As a major employer in Wellington Shire, our staff make a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of the community so it’s important CGH invests in helping them remain healthy and well,” Dr Evans said.
“Our staff are our greatest asset and we know that when we are happier and healthier, we are more productive, ensuring that we give the best quality care to our community.”
Achieving the mental health and wellbeing priority area means staff are equipped and supported to deal with stress, are able to support themselves and others with mental health, and understand CGH’s zero tolerance approach to bullying and discrimination.
Other health priority areas under the program include Physical Activity, Healthy Eating, Alcohol and Other Drug Use and Smoking.
Dr Evans said the program was proof that making small but vital adjustments to behaviour made a big difference.
Since 2016, staff have been involved in the planning and delivery of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Working Group strategies and annually, CGH promotes opportunities to celebrate and acknowledge staff efforts through WELLvember, RU OK? Day and the Gathering of Kindness.
Through the support of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Working Group and the Working Well in Wellington project, as part of the Work Well Mental Health Improvement Fund, CGH was able to introduce tools and resources that enabled managers and workers to learn skills to stay mentally healthy including a shift worker handbook, resilience and mental health training, and MATE training – building skills for staff to support anyone experiencing family violence.
“Mental health is everyone’s responsibility,” Dr Evans said, “and while we have achieved this benchmark, our work is never done and we will continue to work towards creating a mentally healthy workplace.”