Program Manager at Everymind
Elevator pitch: Tell us about your role and the work your organisation does
I am a researcher and Clinical Psychologist working in a multidisciplinary team at Everymind to translate mental health and wellbeing research into practical programs for different communities and workplaces.
What’s the current focus for you and your organisation in workplace health and wellbeing?
Everymind has developed mental health and wellbeing programs, toolkits and other resources for a range of workplaces including the mining, health, and media, marketing and creative industries.
Our Ahead for Business initiative focuses on supporting small business owners take action on their mental health and wellbeing through personalised resources and tools tailored to their specific needs. Small business owners and sole traders can track their wellbeing through the digital hub’s mental health check-up, manage the stressors impacting their work with the business stress test, and create a free account to develop a wellbeing plan.
What aspect of workplace health and wellbeing does your organisation do well in?
Our Ahead for Business initiative focuses on small businesses who account for 97.4% of all actively trading businesses in Australia and employ 41% of the business workforce. Our research found that small business owners experience depression symptoms 18% more frequently and anxiety symptoms 23% more frequently than the general population.
The Ahead for Business initiative is based on our findings that that time-poor small business owners need personalised resources and tools tailored to the specific stressors they experience, including financial stress, feeling obliged to work when sick and having a work-life balance.
What’s your biggest challenge working in workplace health and wellbeing?
The biggest challenge of supporting small business owners to take action on their mental health is that they often feel that they don’t have the time to prioritise their own wellbeing. We tackle this challenge by making bite-sized resources in a range of formats including videos, podcasts and toolkits.
What do you feel are the key issues and considerations for people working in this sector?
It’s important that our sector puts the experiences, knowledge and advice of people with living and lived experience of mental ill-health at the front and centre of all our work. This means putting what we are told by small business owners around Australia into practice through the Ahead for Business initiative.
What do you think the future of workplace health and wellbeing looks like?
I think the future of health and wellbeing at work will become more fit for purpose and tailored for each workplace. At Everymind, we have recently developed a free, online training program specifically for one small business community – family day care centres. Supporting the mental health of children: An online program for family day care focuses on building the capability and capacity of educators to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for children.
What are your key practices and priorities for your own wellbeing at work? What about your team’s?
I have a top five of self-care strategies that I use every day at work:
- Get enough sleep – prioritising sleep helps me start my workday fresh and energised in the morning.
- Eat well – I enjoy treats, but keep it balanced as too much sugar can work in the opposite way and gives me no energy.
- Get active – Working in Newcastle, I am lucky to have the wonderful beaches, lakes and parks to explore.
- Connect with others – It’s important to connect with my team in some way each day, whether that’s in person, online or on the phone.
- Be kind to yourself – I take some time out every day for myself and notice two things that are nice. This might be as small as having a cup of tea and noticing the warmth of the mug and the taste of the tea.
COVID-19 has helped the Everymind team to find a model of work that better suits our people and our work. Our whole team works in the office on Monday and Thursday and everyone chooses what works best for them on the other days of the week.
How does WayAhead Workplaces bring value to your organisation’s work, and to yourself as a professional?
As advocates for wellbeing support for small business owners, we value WayAhead Workplace’s free membership for micro-businesses and recommend joining this great network to everyone in our Ahead for Business community.