A toolkit to support New Zealand workplaces and their people to flourish was launched on World Mental Health Day by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) and Health Promotion Agency (HPA).
The Five Ways to Wellbeing at Work Toolkit (www.mentalhealth.org.nz/fivewaysworktoolkit) makes it easy for workplaces to support their people to build five simple actions into their daily lives to boost wellbeing and organisational productivity.
The launch coincided with the World Federation of Mental Health’s 25th World Mental Health Day, which this year focuses on ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’.
Research shows that introducing five actions (Connect, Be Active, Keep Learning, Give and Take Notice) into daily life at work and at home can boost resilience, improve mental health and wellbeing and lower the risk of developing mental health problems.
“The toolkit takes the guess work out of using the Five Ways to Wellbeing in the workplace, taking workplaces through four steps for success and offering practical information in the form of ten fact sheets and eleven different tools,” MHF chief executive Shaun Robinson says.
“Like any health condition, mental health problems can affect a person’s functioning at work and present substantial costs to workplaces,” Robinson says.
“We know that workplaces that prioritise mental wellbeing and take action to support their people’s mental health have better engagement, reduced absenteeism and higher productivity.”
The Five Ways to Wellbeing can also support workplaces to meet their health and safety obligations to manage risks to mental health and wellbeing, Robinson adds.
“The toolkit also focuses on the role of leadership as the commitment of leaders and managers is one of the most important factors to achieving a mentally healthy workplace,” Robinson notes.
The Five Ways to Wellbeing at Work Toolkit is available at: mentalhealth.org.nz/fivewaysworktoolkit
The Five Ways to Wellbeing were originally developed by the New Economics Foundation in the UK and adapted for New Zealand by the Mental Health Foundation.
The Mental Health Foundation and the Health Promotion Agency developed the Five Ways to Wellbeing at Work Toolkit in partnership to enable New Zealand workplaces and their people to flourish.
The Five Ways to Wellbeing at Work four steps for success:
- Promotethe case for action and leadership.
- Actively communicatewith and engage your people and teams.
- Talk openlyabout mental health and wellbeing.
- Evaluate your impact and share your successes.
Mental health and wellbeing:
- Mental health problems are common, with nearly one in two New Zealanders likely to meet the criteria for a mental illness at some time in their lives.
- Mental wellbeing (also known as flourishing) is more than the absence of mental illness and it is more than feeling happy. It is the ability to cope with the day-to-day stresses of life, work productively, interact positively with others and realise our own potential.
- People who believe their employer cares about their wellbeing are more engaged at work than others.
- An Australian PwC analysis found workplaces who take effective action to create mentally healthy workplaces can expect a return on investment of $2.30 for every dollar spent.
Why the Five Ways work:
- Connect:Strengthening relationships with others and feeling close to and valued by others, including at work, is critical to boosting wellbeing.
- Keep Leaning:Being curious and seeking out new experiences at work and in life more generally positively stimulates the brain.
- Be Active:Being physically active, including at work, improves physical health and can improve mood and wellbeing and decrease stress, depression and anxiety.
- Give:Carrying out acts of kindness, whether small or large, can increase happiness, life satisfaction and general sense of wellbeing.
- Take Notice:Paying more attention to the present moment, to thoughts and feelings and to the world around, boosts our wellbeing.
The Five Ways in action:
- Connect with the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours.
- Keep Learning.Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Take on a new responsibility at work.
- Be Active. Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Garden. Play a game.
- Give. Do something nice for a team mate. Thank someone. Volunteer your time.
- Take Notice. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment.