EMPLOYERS are being urged to create ‘mentally healthy workplaces’, following the findings of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

Recently the Royal Commission’s final report was released and included a damning assessment of the state’s mental health system, along with 65 recommendations to turn the situation around.

Among the recommendations was for the Victorian Government to ‘foster the commitment of employers to create mentally healthy workplaces’; and to provide advice and resources to ‘help employers promote good mental health in the workplace’.

In addition, it called on the Victorian Government to promote inclusive workplaces that are free from stigma and discrimination; and support people experiencing mental illness at work. 

So, where do companies start? 

Moving Mindz advisor and clinical psychologist Dr Karen Hallam said complex health issues did not necessarily require complicated solutions. 

“We know from our peer-reviewed research now that mental health is significantly improved by simply becoming more active, no matter if you reach the 10,000-step threshold,” Dr Hallam said.

“We are also discovering the power of connection in workplace challenges and the power of technology in connecting us at times when connection is particularly challenging. 

“While the Moving Mindz program is simple in its goals of improving physical activity and encouraging simple interventions to improve mood and connection between people, the effects continue to be striking to professionals such as myself.”

The Moving Mindz app-based wellness program focusses on seven core areas: mindfulness, connection, gratitude, nutrition, sleep, exercise and laughter. 

Throughout the program, Moving Mindz inspires employees to connect with each other, their friends and family through daily challenges and activities designed by a board of scientists.

Employees can connect with colleagues by forming teams of five, engage in friendly competition and inspiring, fun challenges, win wellness badges and motivate others by interacting on the Water Cooler (a social newsfeed). 

Moving Mindz measures, evaluates and benchmarks mental health and wellbeing prior to the program and at program’s end, and then reports on various health markers, helping organisations gauge the mental health of their staff.

In 2020, mental health scores across participating companies improved on average by 18.6%. Depression scores improved by 19.5%, anxiety by 12.9% and stress by 15.8%.

Meanwhile, wellbeing scores shot up on average by 11% across organisations taking part in the Moving Mindz program.

“The results of the Moving Mindz challenge speak for themselves,” Dr Hallam said.

“This improvement occurred in the context of a global pandemic and numerous government restrictions across the country.

“It’s important to note that I am referring to further improving mental health and wellbeing within workplace contexts and even people with good mental health and wellbeing levels can further improve these with these activites.

“While these results are important for people facing the challenges we have all been facing over the last 12 months, it is also important to remember that these simple strategies are not a replacement or alternative for seeking personal and professional support for those who feel they are struggling with their mental health.”   

To find out more about the Moving Mindz wellness program, head to www.movingmindz.io.