WWAM: Creating mentally healthy work
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 125 No 7, 2 October 2020, page no.13
While many of us are tired of playing word bingo when describing 2020: unprecedented; unlike any other; unusual etc… we cannot avoid the fact that the times we are living through have left us all exhausted and have resulted in a heightened awareness of our psychological health. This awareness of mental health must continue.
This year more people are identifying that they suffer from insomnia, irritability or mood swings; tearfulness; forgetfulness and having difficulty in concentrating.
Consequently, while the Queensland Government hosts Mental Health Week and Safe Work Month annually in October and the QTU conducts WWAM in November, it is important that we not only raise awareness but put in place strategies to support members experiencing mental illness.
It is so important that when we think of workplace health and safety, we also think about our psychological wellbeing and mental health.
Claims associated with psychological injuries are typically more difficult to manage, result in more time off work and have poorer return-to-work outcomes when compared to physical injuries.
Injury prevention is better than cure and we need to keep the conversation going. Research has shown that for every dollar that is invested in mental health in a workplace, there is a $2.30 return. Members are encouraged to participate in the many activities, including accessing Workplace Health and Safety’s free mentally healthy workshops around the state.
WWAM too is a great opportunity for members to take steps to ensure that they work in a healthy environment and return home safe.
By considering our physical and mental health needs at the workplace, we can provide positive experiences for ourselves, our colleagues and the students we teach.
Everyone has the right to return home in the condition that they started the work day – that means we need to take the time to consider any risks to our physical and mental health and safety and work together to mitigate them.
We should never be too busy to talk about and think about our workplace health and safety. We all know Work Safe. Home Safe. We should also all think Work Healthy, Home Healthy.