“Thank you to all our wonderful partners for making this possible. Firstly to WorkCover Queensland and in particular Sharon Stratford and Chrissy Leong for supporting the IRRI programs, but also for supporting small business. Thank you to Christine Thompson and Warren Knight from BOC, to the AMWU, as well as our Project Lead, Meg Kelly, we couldn’t have done it without you”. Strive’s General Manager, Chris Merrilees said to the crowd at the PIEF Conference Awards on Tuesday evening.
“This award is testament to what can happen when all stakeholders work together and we take a top-down and bottom-up approach to supporting mental health in the workplace. Thank you.”
We know that in the construction and manufacturing industry, workers are up to six times more likely to suicide than die from a work related accident. We know that the workforce is predominantly male, and in an age demographic that is more at risk than the general population when it comes to mental health.
The inspiration for the Manufacturing Healthy Minds Program came from the concept of designing a program by workers, for workers. In collaboration with the AMWU, WorkCover Queensland and BOC, Strive was tasked to develop a private an accessible onsite mental health program for BOC production workers. Many discussions and meetings were held over several months with representatives from all stakeholders until we landed on an outline for the pilot program.
Over the duration of the 10-week Pilot Program period, the BOC Leadership Team made the following observations on the result of the program:
- Employees speaking more openly about their wellbeing to others including managers
- Employees suffering a crisis are being more supported by peers
- Employees feel more empowered to have conversations with peers and managers
- Improvement in site culture to create a sense of ‘family’
- Normalising the conversation about mental health
Statistically speaking, the program delivered the following results over 10 weeks:
- 38% of production workers accessed the program
- On average 3.9 staff accessed support each week
- 54% of support sessions focused on work-related stressors and 46% focused on personal stressors
- 100% of staff supported continuation of the program
The engagement rates of the program speak for themselves, with 38% of workers accessing support in the first 10 weeks. This is up to 7.5 times higher than the annual utilisation rate with traditional EAP services. Additional significant results drawn from the final mental health survey included:
- 35% increase in workers feeling they have the tools to effectively manage their mental health
- 28% increase of awareness of how stress can impact thoughts, feelings and mood
- 20% increase in having the skills to have difficult conversations with co-workers
- 100% reported that they would refer a friend to the program
One worker stated “we have normalised the conversation about mental health on the site” when describing the effectiveness of the program.
Due to the resounding success of the Program, WorkCover Queensland supported an extension which concluded in April 2022. In the 10-week extension a further 48 support sessions were completed.
There has been a total of 87 support sessions completed over 20 weeks with an average of 4.35 workers accessing the program weekly.
In May 2022, BOC Rocklea agreed to fund the program for its ongoing continuation. Regular steering committee meetings continue with the above-mentioned stakeholders.
Talk to Strive today about how we can help design a similar program for your organisation.