Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Hornsby council launches staff mental wellness program

Sydney’s Hornsby Shire Council has launched an innovative new support program aimed at reducing the stigma of mental health and promoting conversation on the topic in the workplace.

The Council says the ‘Mind Mates’ program empowers trained staff within the organisation to offer support to peers seeking a less formal setting than the organisation’s Employee Assistance Program.

In its first year, the program has already seen a number of staff members seek support from ‘Mind Mates’ on a range of personal topics.

Council General Manager, Steven Head applauded the Council’s teams involved in the project and the commitment of the Mind Mates to their colleagues and their mental health.

“I’m immensely proud of our People and Culture team and of our Mind Mates for stepping up and taking on a significant responsibility in offering support to their colleagues in this way”, said Mr Head.

“Across the sheer breadth of what we do in local government, there’s a brilliant diversity of backgrounds and professions working hard for our community.

“One of the challenges I see in managing this, is making sure that everyone feels they have support there waiting for them if ever they need it. Our Mind Mates program is a big step forward in ensuring this, by recognising and empowering one of our most important assets: the many friends and mates that we share our workplace with.”

The program is the latest initiative under Hornsby Shire Council’s umbrella ‘My Wellbeing Matters’ project, which launched in November 2022, and focuses on the physical and mental wellbeing as well as social connection of staff across the organisation.

Following a call-out to all employees to attend ‘Accidental Counsellor’ and ‘Start the Conversation’ training sessions through Lifeline, expressions of interest were sought to become a Mind Mate, with a total of 14 staff receiving further training and accreditation via a Mental Health First Aid course, also conducted by Lifeline.

The Mind Mates program is just one of the ways Hornsby Shire Council provides staff with an inviting environment to work in. To find out more about working for Hornsby Shire Council and view current opportunities, visit hornsby.nsw.gov.au/careers

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