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Making your Practice Mentally Healthy in 2020

We all have a responsibility to provide a safe and fair workplace for our employees. Creating a mentally healthy Practice has benefits for both the Principal Dentist, the employees and the patients!

A mentally healthy practice should support the mental health of the individual and the team as a whole. This should then lead to increased employee engagement, improved productivity and reduced absenteeism.

But how do we do this? There are many different ways to promote mental health in the workplace, here are just a few:

Smart role design

  • Involve staff in deciding how work is performed.
  • Listen to your employees and their ideas on how to complete their tasks.
  • Be conscious of each person’s workload…including your own!
  • Where possible allow flexible working hours.
  • Ensure the physical environment of the practice is safe, reassuring and welcoming for staff and patients.

Encourage personal resilience

  • Encourage regular physical activity opportunities
  • Encourage mentoring and coaching

Your Practice Culture

  • Don’t put off conversations…even the difficult ones! Make time to speak with all of your team on a regular basis, particularly if there are any who may have some concerns.
  • Encourage everyone on the team to look out for each other
  • Ensure all employees are contributing to a safe and positive practice
  • Implement a mental health policy ensuring all understand that there is no tolerance for bullying and discrimination.

Be aware

Supporting employees

  • Provide yourself and the Practice Manager with support and training on how to support any in your team recovering from mental illness and stressful life events.
  • Be open to discussing and modifying duties and work schedules when appropriate.
  • Provide a supportive environment and ensure no discrimination or bullying occurs.

Early notice

  • Encourage your employees to seek help early.
  • Be aware and notice any changes…ask RUOK?

In addition, Prime Practice’s Leadership Essentials Workshop will assist you (and your Practice Manager) with improving your skills. Of course your business coach and Prime Practice HR Solutions are also available to assist.

Prime Practice is here to support you and your team in achieving success. Let’s start 2020 with a mentally healthy practice culture!

There are many associations providing assistance and support for mental health, here are just a few.

Beyond BlueSupport for people experiencing depression and anxiety https://www.beyondblue.org.au/1300 22 4636
The MindSpot ClinicSupport for people experiencing stress, anxiety, low mood or depression1800 61 44 34
eheadspace Mental health support for people under 25https://headspace.org.au/1800 650 890
MensLine AustraliaMental health support for men  https://mensline.org.au/1300 78 99 78
QlifeMental health support for LGBTI people https://qlife.org.au/1800 184 527
LifelineCrisis support and suicide prevention13 11 14
Suicide Call Back ServiceSupport for people feeling suicidal1300 659 467
SANE AustraliaSupport, training and education for people with a mental illness https://www.sane.org/1800 18 7263
RUOK?Suicide prevention, reminding people that having meaningful conversations with mates and loved ones could save lives. https://www.ruok.org.au/ 

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