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Article

Lauren J. Davenport, Amanda F. Allisey, Kathryn M. Page, Anthony D. LaMontagne and Nicola J. Reavley

Benefits of positive mental health have been demonstrated across work and non-work domains. Individuals reporting positive mental health experience better work…

Abstract

Purpose

Benefits of positive mental health have been demonstrated across work and non-work domains. Individuals reporting positive mental health experience better work performance, better social relationships and better physical health. Additionally, positive work environments can contribute to employee mental health. The purpose of this paper is to develop “expert” consensus regarding practical, actionable strategies that organisations can implement to promote positive mental health in the workplace.

Design/methodology/approach

A Delphi consensus method was used to establish expert consensus on strategies to promote positive workplace mental health. A 278-item questionnaire was developed and strategies were rated over three survey rounds by two panels comprising 36 workplace mental health practitioners and 36 employer representatives and employees (27 and 9, respectively), employees with experience of promoting positive mental health and well-being in the workplace (total – 72 panellists).

Findings

In total, 220/278 strategies were rated as essential or important by at least 80 per cent of both panels. Endorsed strategies covered the topics of: mental health and well-being strategy, work environment that promotes positive mental health, positive leadership styles, effective communication, designing jobs for positive mental health, recruitment and selection, supporting and developing employees, work-life balance, and positive mental health and well-being initiatives.

Originality/value

The guidelines arising from this study represent expert consensus on what is currently appropriate for promoting positive mental health at work from the perspectives of workplace mental health practitioners, employers and employees, and constitute a resource for translating the growing body of knowledge in this area into policy and practice.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

Keywords

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Article

Nicola J. Reavley, Terence V. McCann, Stefan Cvetkovski and Anthony F. Jorm

The purpose of this study was to assess whether a multifaceted intervention could improve mental health literacy, facilitate help seeking and reduce psychological distress…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to assess whether a multifaceted intervention could improve mental health literacy, facilitate help seeking and reduce psychological distress and alcohol misuse in staff of a multi-campus university in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

In this cluster randomised trial (ACTRN12610001027000), nine campuses were paired, with one of each pair randomly assigned to either intervention or control. Interventions (which were whole-of-campus) included e-mails, posters, campus events, factsheets/booklets and mental health first aid training courses. A monitoring sample of staff were recruited from each campus. Participants had a 20-minute computer-assisted telephone interview at baseline, and at the end of academic years 1 and 2. The interview assessed mental health literacy, help seeking for mental health problems, psychological distress and alcohol use. The primary outcomes were depression and anxiety levels and alcohol use and pertained to the individual level. Six campuses were randomised to intervention and three to control and all campuses were included in the analysis.

Findings

There were no effects on depression and anxiety levels and alcohol use. Recall of intervention elements was greater in the intervention group at the end of the two-year assessment period. Staff in the intervention group showed better recognition of depression, greater knowledge of the National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines for safe levels of drinking and a greater intention to seek help for alcohol misuse from a general practitioner.

Originality/value

Future interventions should involve more focused interventions that include consideration of working conditions and their influence on mental health, as well as addressing mental illness among employees, regardless of cause.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

Keywords

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Article

Anna Ross, Nicola Reavley, Lay San Too and Jane Pirkis

The purpose of this paper is to describe an evaluation of the Community Stations Project. The Community Stations Project was designed to address railway suicides in two…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe an evaluation of the Community Stations Project. The Community Stations Project was designed to address railway suicides in two ways: by improving the station environment in a manner that might improve community members’ feelings of wellbeing; and raising community members’ awareness of poor mental health and likelihood of reaching out to at-risk individuals. It involved four types of interventions (arts and culture, music, food and coffee, and “special events”) delivered at four stations in Victoria.

Design/methodology/approach

A short anonymous survey was administered to community members on iPads at the four participating railway stations during the implementation of the interventions (between October and December 2016). The survey included questions about respondents’ demographics, their awareness of the intervention(s), their views of the station, their attitudes towards people with poor mental health and their emotional wellbeing.

Findings

A total of 1,309 people took part in the survey. Of these, 48 per cent of community members surveyed reporting noticing an intervention at their station. Noticing the events was associated with positive views of the station, improved understanding of poor mental health, and a greater likelihood of reaching out to someone who might be at risk of poor mental health. Awareness of intervention events was not associated with respondents’ own emotional wellbeing.

Practical implications

Continuing to focus efforts on mental health awareness activities may further strengthen the impact of the Community Stations Project interventions and ultimately prevent suicides at railway stations.

Originality/value

This paper evaluates a novel approach to improving wellbeing and understanding of poor mental health in the train station environment.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

Keywords

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