Recent research has shed new light on the critical importance of providing mentally healthy workplaces for business professionals in 2019.
New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals that mental and behavioural health conditions were the most prevalent chronic illnesses recorded throughout Australia in 2018, leaving more than four million Australians suffering from anxiety and depression.
With workplace mental illness costing the economy over $60 billion per year, it’s time that Australian businesses start to focus on investing additional resources on the development of effective mental health workplace strategies.
Founder of Breathing Space Counselling Practice, Gabriel Edwards, says
CEOs and executives have the greatest influence and impact on the state of an organisation’s mental health and wellbeing, and are rightly required to drive the many mental health initiatives being rolled out across a growing number of organisations.”
In many organisations, however, ongoing stress, late nights and a lack of adequate support can contribute to poor mental health outcomes for senior staff and leaders. Research shows that CEOs and Executives are loathe to utilise standard company EAP services when (not if) they need support. They don’t trust the confidentiality of a company-wide counselling service – an irrational but understandable fear – and they lack confidence in the ability of some call centre counsellors to understand the unique context that Business Leaders live and work within – a reasonable assumption. However, Ms Edwards says:
The top team must live and breathe a commitment to the principles that support and enable positive mental health … they’re the role models for all values and behaviours throughout an organisation.”
The Australian Government and Productivity Commission have confirmed the importance of exploring the role of mental health in the Australian economy over the next four years as well as the most effective ways to support and improve national mental wellbeing.
I welcome the recent wave of awareness and support for mentally healthy workplaces. The discussions, the programs, and funding being applied to creating mentally healthy workplaces is encouraging, especially given Australia’s concerning suicide rates. But I worry about the gap in support and resources for our top-tier leaders” says Ms Edwards.
Having provided support and treatment to senior leaders and CEOs across Australia, Gabriel Edwards is well-versed at creating healthy work environments, starting with the CEO and Executive team:
As a counsellor specialising in working with high performing professionals in the business arena, I provide a safe confidential space for leaders to drop the game face. To stop, check in, and reflect on the state of their health, their relationships, and their peace of mind.”
Breathing Space offers an exclusive counselling service and a range of resources to Boards,
CEOs and their teams:
- One on one confidential counselling for issues such as depression, anxiety, grief, anger and career transition, as well as coping with the pressures of work when faced with a life crisis such as divorce, death of a family member, illness etc
- 24 hour on-call crisis counselling
- Crisis debrief for individuals and Leadership Teams
- Coaching leaders to manage crisis situations with employees
- Regular tactical debriefing for leaders managing complex high profile issues/crises
- Developing robust leadership team mental health: developing values, creating positive relationships, conflict resolution etc.
- Bespoke learning experiences and resources to address issues and topics specific to the team and/or the organisation
- Creating mentally healthy workplace strategies – starting with the leadership team
- Tracking and Reporting team and organisation issues and trends.
Into the Wild
In September every year, Gabriel runs a Leadership Mental Health retreat called ‘Into the Wild’
specifically designed for Leaders. Into the Wild embraces and explores the following core belief
within a natural wilderness setting:
You are more than the job you do each day…more than the next deadline, project or
problem. When we embrace this truth, we become better professionals!”
For a confidential counselling session, contact Gabriel Edwards, Founder and Principal Counsellor at Breathing Space:
- Phone: +61 4085 56264
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gabriel Edwards possesses strong counselling skills and 25 years senior leadership and Board experience across the private, public and NFP sectors.