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5 online courses to improve mental health in the workplace

Kerrie-Anne Chinn
2017-08-31

At any given time, one in five Australian employees are likely to be experiencing a mental health condition, suffering from the effects of anxiety, panic disorders, OCD and depression – all of which have a huge impact on everyday life, relationships, work and career.

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In a recent article, we looked at the risks of burning out in the workplace, and the importance of making sure you’re taking good care of your mental health. We received a lot of feedback from readers who identified with this article, which is an indication of the prevalence of these issues in Australian workplaces.

In that article, we also encouraged readers to be aware and conscious of the potential signs of burnout – in themselves and others – and to take action before it starts further impacting their health. So today, we want to look at some online resources that may help people do just that.

While these online courses can’t replace the guidance and expertise of a mental health professional, they can help managers understand more about mental health in the workplace. Because it’s vital that Australian organisations know how to support their employees in this area, while providing a positive work culture and environment for their staff.

These courses may also help individuals to establish new ways of thinking about and improving mental health, through proven techniques and strategies, while also recognising that they are not alone in dealing with these issues.

Please remember, if you are experiencing significant distress, you can reach out to Lifeline 131 114 or Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 for immediate support.

Positive Mental Health

This eLearning course provides a good foundation for understanding the various components of mental health and wellbeing.

It’s been designed for managers and business leaders who want to commit to improving mental health in their workplace, and want to support others in meeting their mental health needs. But anyone can take this course, as it has plenty of information on particular tools and methods that can prove helpful in promoting positive mental health in the workplace.

Sometimes it can be hard for people with depression, anxiety or panic disorders to commit to a full-day course or workshop. This online course wraps up the equivalent of a day’s course in an online format that you can get through at your own pace, and in your own safe environment.

You’ll learn about self-care in relation to good mental health, wellbeing and resilience, and how to identify specific methods which can be applied to support people experiencing low mental health.

Stress Managment: Proven Tips & Techniques

Stress is often the trigger behind burnout, depression and anxiety. So learning practical techniques to manage stress is one of the best things you can do to improve mental health.

This online course looks at how stress can be both positive and negative. It explores using the ‘Triple A’ approach – Alter, Avoid, or Accept – to find the best method to deal with stressful situations, whether in the workplace or at home.

Knowing how to step back and identify the source of major stress, and how to cope with these stressors, is a big step in managing your mental health. Through this course, you’ll also explore environmental and physical relaxation techniques; best practices on diet, exercise and sleep; and more advanced approaches such as cognitive restructuring techniques.

Smart Mental Health: Core Values and Finding a Purpose in Life

Another topic that we’ve talked about recently is the important connection between personal (or core) values and job satisfaction. As we said then:

 “One of the main reasons why people are unhappy in their jobs is that their work, career or employer is at odds with their values. Often, employees won’t even realize their dissatisfaction stems from this mis-match – there’s just a general feeling that something isn’t quite right.”

You’ll learn how to:

  • Understand the importance of core values and where they come from
  • Identify personal and professional core values
  • Recognize corporate core values and their importance to business, staff and customers
  • Develop a practical action plan

Smart Mental Health: Goal Setting and Visualization Techniques

Another in the Smart Mental Health series, this course is actually a good follow-on from the previous one. Because it focuses on the proactive steps you can take to help you achieve the goals in your action plan.

With each goal you set, you establish the path you wish to take towards your objectives. This online course will help you define your goals – short, medium, and long term – and see how goal-setting and visualisation can help you achieve success.

You’ll learn how we can program our subconscious minds to achieve our goals, through visualisation techniques, writing down goals, and developing effective affirmations. You’ll also be encouraged to explore reasons why you might fail to achieve a goal and how to develop an overall plan for success. These are all important steps for positive mental health in the workplace.

Stress Management in the Workplace: The Psychology of the Causes of Stress At Work

Long title; short and effective online course. This one-hour eLearning course has been created specifically for managers, to help them understand more about managing mental health in the workplace.

The fact is, conditions such as anxiety, OCD and depression have negative impacts on organisations, as well as individuals. As reported by Beyond Blue, “untreated mental health conditions are costing Australian organisations around $10.9 billion per year through absenteeism, presenteeism (when the employee is at work but is less productive) and compensation.”

Australian managers need to know how to manage stress in the workplace, to create a safe and positive work environment for staff, and to also reduce business impacts. Knowing how to identify major causes of stress for employees is the first step in making positive changes. And this course will help you do just that.

Remember, it’s really important for managers to support any employee who appears to be struggling. And if you’re in a leadership role, you need to make sure that mental health is being considered as part of your organisation’s work health and safety strategy.

As we’ve said before, the more open we are about discussing mental health in the workplace, the more we can help to reduce the stigma surrounding it.

 

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