The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently written about suicide prevention and the organisational structures that can contribute to poor mental health. The prominence of the CDC should result in a spate of media reports about this NIOSH Science Blog article.
Evidence of the link between the two has been building in Australia for some time through the work of several researchers. The CDC/NIOSH draws on
Dr Rebecca Michalak has just published an extraordinary article calling on the Human Resources profession and many others to take a good, hard look at how they treat workers who may have been subjected to psychological pressures at work.
Human Resources personnel could feel particularly hard done by but Michalak stresses that there are many players in the process of creating and managing psychologically healthy workplace and of not adequately managing psychologically injured workers. She makes her proposition clear up front:
In November 2017, SafetyAtWorkBlog wrote about a pilot occupational health and safety (OHS) and wellness program created by the Victorian Arts Centre. At the time the future of this very good program was in doubt as continuing funding was not available.
On August 30 2018, Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, pledged some funding to the Arts Wellbeing Collective. How much funding has not been revealed but providing a future for the program is a sound OHS and political move.
A major attraction of the Arts Wellbeing Collective is that it was an initiative from outside the established OHS and Human Resources networks. This cuts out a lot of baggage but also risks acting without an understanding of what has gone before.
Perhaps more importantly, this program is not a response to the Weinstein issues or the #metoo agenda. It was developed prior to both of these events but will benefit from the profiles these tragedies have created. All strength to it.
In November 2016, 53-year old Paula Schubert hanged herself. On July 25 2018 the Northern Territory Coroner Greg Cavanagh described the behaviour of managers at her employer, the Norther Territory Department of Children and Families/Territory Families as bullying.
The full Coronial Findings are an important read for any organisation to understand how managerial activities and attitudes can negatively affect workers.
Western Australia’s Parliament heard more about the State’s investigation into work-related mental health on June 26 2018.