Speaker: Leigh McKay
Why is having Mental Health conversations at work important?
Leigh McKay: Having mental health conversations in the workplace is so important because there is still a stigma that is attached to this topic. So for as long as we remain silent, and we don't create opportunity to have these conversations that stigma will remain. But also for some people, the workplace is there only possible source of support. So the workplace is so well positioned to be able to help and encourage recovery for people. That's why these conversations are so important.
For managers, what are the biggest inhibitors to starting these conversations?
Leigh McKay: We've been sharing the mapping mental health for managers training across the world for a number of years now. And there are some common inhibitors that come up, inhibitors, meaning reasons to stop managers from having conversations. So one is, you know, I don't have the confidence to have this conversation. What happens if I ask, you know, what do I do with that information? Or maybe I'm going to open a can of worms, but also for managers often it's the case people come to you because they want you to find solutions or fix things. This is so not your role in the context of mental health. We leave the fixing and giving advice to the professionals, but you are really well positioned to start these conversations and that can make a massive difference.
As a manager how can you make a difference?
Leigh McKay: As a manager, you can make a big difference. And that is about knowing your people about looking out and noticing signs about initiating a discussion. And then also knowing about what kind of support infrastructure is in place within your organization and encouraging that having these discussions confidently is not always that easy. So what we do is we share a framework with you. It's a four step process and it is very helpful in gaining that confidence so that you can initiate these conversations.