With strong leadership support, Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) implemented a Mental Wellness Program, directed by their Mental Wellness Standard, as a coordinated approach to proactively managing mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
The Standard was developed based on the Heads Up campaign from Australian organisation beyondblue. The standard outlines the team’s commitment to a supportive and connected workplace where the entire workforce is educated about mental illness. The standard also ensures everyone is empowered and provided with the tools they need to reach out for support and access the resources available to them if they need it.
Since launching the standard in September 2014, WAIO has seen an increasing number of employees empowered to step-up, seek support and talk openly about their issues. There has been a marked increase in employee referrals to site-based health representatives relating to mental wellness, and use of their Employee Assistance Program has increased. Additionally, hundreds of supervisors and managers have completed specialist mental health and suicide prevention training.
The increasingly open culture has led to robust discussions within teams, helping to raise awareness and erode the societal stigma associated with mental illness.