Mental Health and Wellbeing

One in five (20%) of adult New Zealanders will experience mental illness this year. Depression and anxiety are the most common forms of mental illness.

Many people are reluctant to talk about mental health. It can feel too risky, personal or people may be nervous of saying the wrong thing.

The Mental Health Foundation has resources to support managers having successful conversations with staff.

Disclosure

While disclosing a mental health issue at work can lead to increased personal support and workplace accommodations, it is understandably a concern for those with disabilities that they may experience stigma or discrimination.

Resources

Mental Health Foundation Open Minds resources may assist staff and managers have these conversations. They include:

• Quick tips for having a conversation at work about mental health.
• Making mental health part of the conversation: A Guide for Managers
• A number of short videos on topics such as; how different people experience mental stress in the workplace, fears of talking about mental illness, creating a positive culture.
• Posters, FAQs and other Open Minds resources.

Reasonable accommodations

Managers should discuss any reasonable accommodations staff may need. These may include:

• reorganising work jobs or changing tasks
• Modifying work spaces or providing assistive technology
• Flexible work arrangements
• Use of sick leave or leave without pay

Building resilience and managing stress

The CALM Website, provides information, resources, audio files, guided meditations and exercises in the key areas of:
• Mental resilience
• Managing stress, anxiety and depression
• Healthy relationships
• Finding meaning in life

Some specific topics covered include; practical strategies to help meet deadlines, dealing with anger and developing positive mind states.

5 Ways to Wellbeing

The University supports the Mental Health Foundation’s 5 Ways to Wellbeing. These are:
Give – your time, your words, your presence
Be active – do what you can; enjoy what you do; move your mood
Keep learning – embrace new experiences; see opportunities; surprise yourself
Take notice – appreciate the little things; savour the moment
Connect – talk and listen; be there; feel connected.

Further information and support:

Staff Equity Manager, Cathie Walsh cathie.walsh@auckland.ac.nz

The Health, Safety and Wellbeing website has information on wellbeing workshops as well as resources from the 2016 staff ASPIRE conference which had Wellbeing as its theme.

The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is an independent, professional and confidential service free for staff experiencing personal or work related issues including anxiety, depression, conflict, stress, employment issues, grief and bereavement.
 EAP Services
 0800 327 669 (24 hours, 7 days a week)
ak@eapservices.co.nz