21 BACK TO NAVIGATION 23 30 26 10 19 5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Mental health first aid training Confidential professional psychological support RUOK programs participant Beyond Blue programs participant Signatory to the TJMF Black Dog programs participant 2017 AusLSA Member Performance AusLSA members are investing in and implementing a range of initiatives to reduce the symptoms and effects of mental ill-health. This is a sign that management generally accepts the importance of this issue and sees a need to better understand and address them. The following elements are the accepted foundations to an effective workplace mental health program. Eighty-eight percent of AusLSA’s reporting firms have formal policy-based commitments to addressing psychological wellbeing but only twenty-nine percent of these firms promoted this commitment publicly. All of these firms did however have a management structure in place for their policy implementation. Sixty-one percent of firms were also signatories to the TJMF Workplace Wellbeing Guidelines for the Legal Profession. Sixty-eight percent of firms allocated the responsibility for their policy implementation to a partner and sixty-eight percent also formed workplace based committees to help embed implementation in the firm. Both these elements are indicators of a firm embracing the implementation of their policy with a stronger potential of improving awareness of the issues and shifting firm culture. All surveyed firms participated some type of work based activities and initiatives to address mental illness and support psychological wellbeing. The most popular programs include confidential psychological support through their employee assist programs with ninety- four percent participation, RUOK Programs and events with ninety-four percent participation and seventy percent conducted mental health first aid type training. Firms also participated in a range of awareness programs and events including seventy-nine percent for RUOK, thirty percent for beyond blue and fifteen percent for the Black Dog. Challenges and Opportunities The pre-requisite for mental health is psychological safety. Psychological safety starts with a caring workplace culture which is determined by leaders and the values they model. A caring workplace must focus on preventing harm and actively involve staff to find ways to address the causes of the avoidable stressors that contribute to the psychological ill health of their people. The next challenge is for workplaces is to build a culture that recognises that there are new things to learn and new interventions to make which will create a more psychologically safe and healthy workplace. A focus on merely developing policies and delivering conventional processes to address organisational risk ignores the expanding knowledge and opportunities to more effectively support people who are impacted by mental ill health. Like all changes in corporate culture this needs to be driven by behaviours and leadership from the top in addition to robust systems and programs that transparently reinforce this change. Firms that are implementing initiatives can find it difficult to assess their effectiveness in reducing the symptoms and effects of mental ill-health or their benefits over the longer term. It is an old management adage that you can’t manage what you can’t measure and this is also true of workplace mental health. Developing a relevant baseline of psychological wellbeing including the collection and analysis of workplace records including sick leave, annual leave, absenteeism, complaints and grievances, incidents and injury etc is an important step in understanding mental health. It also provides the ability to evaluate program impacts, ongoing trends as well as highlighting outstanding areas of risk areas to prioritise. INITIATIVES 58% 18% 15% 9% Yes No Currently in Development Not Reported SURVEY Number of firms