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Case Study: Cultivating a Psychologically Healthy Workplace

Challenge:
In a dynamic corporate environment, a proactive senior leader identified the need for a robust psychological health strategy within her team. When seeking support for ad hoc mental health challenges, HR directed her to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) as the primary (sole) resource for mental health support. This unveiled a lack of an integrated mental health strategy, overreliance on EAP, and limited support for team leaders in fostering daily psychological well-being.
Initiatives:
Mental Health Primer II for All Staff:
  • The leader initiated department-wide Mental Health Primer II, ensuring that all team members were equipped with foundational mental health literacy. This initiative aimed to reduce stigma, foster empathy, and create a supportive culture of inclusion and agency.
Enrollment for Mental Health First Aid Certification:
  • To further empower the team, the leader offered training for employees interested in becoming certified Mental Health First Aiders. This initiative enabled a pool of individuals with enhanced skills to provide ad hoc, regular and immediate support within the team.
Human-Centred Leadership Development:
  • Recognizing the pivotal role of team leaders, the leader introduced a Human-Centred Leadership development program. This initiative focused on equipping leaders with the skills to nurture a psychologically healthy work environment, emphasizing empathy, active listening, and proactive support.
Effective Utilization of EAP:
  • The leader invited collaboration with HR to optimize the utilization of the EAP. This involved providing clear communication about EAP services, promoting accessibility, and ensuring that employees felt comfortable seeking assistance through this resource and coupled with daily literacy and capability.
Results:
  • Increased Awareness: The Mental Health Primer II significantly increased staff awareness and understanding of mental health issues.
  • Certified First Aiders: Several team members availed themselves of the training offer, resulting in a cohort of certified Mental Health First Aiders within the department.
  • Team leaders reported feeling better equipped and more empowered to support their teams’ mental health, fostering a positive and inclusive workplace culture.
  • With improved communication and promotion, EAP utilization increased, indicating a positive shift in the team’s perception of mental health support. 
Conclusion:
Through a multifaceted approach, the leader successfully initiated a comprehensive psychological health strategy, fostering a workplace culture that prioritizes mental well-being. The integration of awareness programs, skills development, and effective use of existing resources highlights the effectiveness of a proactive and human-centered leadership approach in promoting psychological health within the team.

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