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NSW Government offers training to help employers deal with mental health

Support for businesses and workers to develop strategies to manage their mental health and assistance for others in the workplace has been further boosted by an initiative from the NSW Government that recently announced a partnership with the Black Dog Institute to roll out training for small to medium-sized regionally based businesses.

By Michael Selinger

Support for businesses and workers to develop strategies to manage their mental health and assistance for others in the workplace has been further boosted by an initiative from the NSW Government that recently announced a partnership with the Black Dog Institute to roll out training for small to medium-sized regionally based businesses.

The training will initially be offered to about 5000 workers and will be by way of face-to-face training and e-modules.

The training itself is designed to raise awareness of mental health issues and how they manifest themselves in the workplace.

As the NSW Minister for Better Regulation, Matt Kean, stated in a media release: “It forms part of the NSW Mentally Healthy Workplaces Strategy which has a target of more than 90,000 NSW businesses taking effective action to create mentally healthy workplaces by 2022”.

The issue of mental health and injury has been on the agenda for all governments for a number of years.

In the most recent review of the WHS laws in Australia, the review found that:

The review then recommended that the WHS Regulations be amended to deal with how to identify psychosocial risks associated with psychological injury and the appropriate control measures to manage the risks.

In the meantime, employers need to ensure that they and their staff are aware of how mental health issues manifest themselves in the workplace.

To assist, employers should utilise the resources that are available, including a publication on the Safe Work Australia website (safeworkaustralia.gov.au): Work-related psychological health and safety: A systematic approach to meeting your duties.

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