Tag Archives: resilience training

Mental Health Prevention- What Does An Effective Prevention Program Entail?

Mental health conditions present substantial costs to organisations. However, through the successful implementation of an effective program to create a mentally healthy workplace, organisations, on average, can expect a positive return on investment (ROI) of 2.3. That is, for every dollar spent on prevention programs, there is an average return of $2.30 gained by the organisation.

So what does an effective prevention program entail?

A two-tiered training program is an essential strategy for delivering better mental health outcomes for managers and all employees. A program that does not also provide self-care and psychological resilience training for all employees will be ineffective. This top-down approach provides the necessary prevention tools for self-awareness and self-regulation and supports long-term mental health on an emotional and psychological level. This combined approach to both mindful leadership training, as well as mental health awareness training, assists managers with supporting employees mindfully, positively and effectively.

The objective of our mindful leadership program is to improve mindfulness and emotional intelligence related to self-care as well as leading, managing and supporting employees. The training helps strengthen and develop the communication and trust between team managers and staff members. Managers learn evidence-based practices and tools for the cultivation of self-regulation and resilience, which also assists them with enhancing their own self-awareness and leadership skills.

Mindful Manager Training for a Mentally Healthy Workplace

In 2018 we conducted a pilot study of our Mindful Leadership Training with Child Protection at the Department of Health and Human Services. Here are the results:

  • 94% Found the training very enjoyable and engaging.
  • 100% Found the training useful in understanding stress reactivity and how to recognise when stress is building.
  • 98% Agree the tools provided in the training pack will be useful for the workplace.
  • 94% Feel the tools they have learnt will help them remain calm and in control when faced with difficult or challenging situations and feel better equipped to recognise habitual thought and behaviour patterns.
  • 92% Agree the training was helpful in developing their skills as a leader (e.g. mindful listening, non-judgment, effective communication, building trust).
  • 90% Have a greater understanding of the benefits of mindfulness and its role at work and at home.
  • 90% Have learnt effective ways to minimise distractions and improve concentration and focus.
  • 92% Feel more confident strengthening relationships and trust in their team.
  • 80% Agree the training has helped them be a more positive leader and role model in the workplace.
  • 90% Feel more confident integrating mindfulness practices into team meetings (if applicable).
  • 80% Feel better equipped to process difficult or strong emotions.
  • 82% Feel more able to recognise the early signs of distress, poor mental health and mental illness.
  • 84% Feel more confident supporting a distressed team member immediately and following an emotional crisis or difficult event.

A course outline is available upon request. I look forward to continuing discussions around supporting the long-term mental health of employees within your organisation.

Great to See Our Resilience Programs on the News

 

We are thrilled to see our workplace stress and psychological resilience programs  on the Channel 9 News. As a corporate health consultant it is pleasing to see an increasing number of employers recognising the benefits of mindfulness, resilience and meditation programs at work. With ongoing support and collaboration with mental health organisations such as ‘Heads Up’ and ‘Beyond Blue’, resilience training, mindfulness coaching and a regular mindfulness practice can cultivate positive outcomes for both the employee and the organisation.

Mental health injuries not only result in significant costs for organisations but when employees are constantly on ‘auto-pilot’ then productivity is also reduced. We like to think of the opposite of mindfulness as ‘mindlessness‘ which is really when we aren’t paying attention, we aren’t listening properly, we aren’t tasting our food and the world passes us by without us really being here for it. In this way, mindfulness programs can lead to greater sense of well-being, improved work engagement and life satisfaction, and a greater sense of value within the organisation.

Attention training has proven physical and psychological benefits and can greatly reduce mental health risk factors in the workplace. Our 8 week mindfulness- based stress resilience program, ‘Wise’, is a holistic approach to stress prevention. A regular cultivation of awarness practices over 8 weeks can produce significant positive changes in brain grey matter and neuroplasticity. This reshapes the brain towards greater calm and compassion, helping staff generate the inner wisdom necessary for stress resilience.

Through participation in the ‘Wise’ program employees strengthen their ability to cope with the challenges of everyday life, stress, suffering and pain. They are better able to deal with difficult events with more grace and composure and learn how to be more present and happy, with a stable mind.

Mindful May- Create A Resilient Workplace

Mindful May is approaching fast. Have you made plans yet?

This May we are committed to building mentally healthy, resilient workplaces throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria. Join Engage Health as we deliver a 4 Week Psychological Resilience program in your workplace.

Course Overview

This 4- week program will teach employees practical tools and techniques for stress reduction, emotional regulation and psychological resilience. With themes and evidence-based practices from our signature eight week attention training program, participants will learn effective strategies for improved mental health, coping with stress, remaining composed during times of difficulty and how to be fully present in their work and home life.

*One workshop will be held each week in May at your office/site. Each workshop is approximately one hour in duration.

Week 1

Introduction to Attention Training

  • What is mindfulness?
  • Creating a self-awareness.
  • Using the breath as an anchor to calm the mind.
  • Minimising internal distractions.

Week 2

Neuroplasticity & Habits

  • The science behind attention training and mindful practice.
  • Hard-wiring happiness. (The brain that changes itself).
  • The importance of pleasant awareness, positivity and gratitude.

Week 3

The Stress Response

  • Learning to self-regulate and reduce reactivity.
  • Understanding the role of the amygdala.
  • Identifying early warning signs of stress, anxiety and mental illness.
  • Neurobiology of emotions.

Week 4

Self-Care & Resilience Tools

  • Outsmarting the stress response.
  • Eliciting the relaxation response.
  • Dealing with stress & difficult emotions/ pain/ sensations.
  • Mindful eating

Booking are now open for all organisations. Please email sally.cumming@engagehealth.com.au or call 0401358309 for more information.

Eliciting the Relaxation Response to Reduce Stress

 

Employees are constantly “on”. There is very little escape from the constantly frantic 24/7 world. The result can be burnout – both physically and mentally. Long term activation of our sympathetic nervous system (or ‘fight, flight, freeze’ stress response) can be detrimental to our health. This sympathetic drive can take its toll on the body causing adrenal fatigue, systemic inflammation in the body and chronic disease. Sympathetic overdrive for employees can manifest itself as lack of energy, increased conflict, lack of job satisfaction, poor morale, decreased ability to handle stress, a compromised immune system and memory lapses.

Challenges and difficulties in the workplace cannot be avoided, but we can build our resilience to them. A successful way to build resilience in the workplace is to teach employees the skills and tools they need to identify and maintain healthy levels of stress and self-regulate in order to quickly recover from challenging situations when they arise. Teaching staff how to anchor themselves amidst the pull of turbulence in their lives helps them build the capacity to accept, tolerate and transform painful mind and body states without reacting so intensely to them.

Through combined mindfulness-based stress reduction and cognitive therapy practices, employees can learn how to elicit the relaxation response. This is a key component of our programs, not only for reducing stress, but also for reducing blood pressure, pain, tension and muscle tightness. Suppression of the sympathetic nervous system and physiological stress response is very effective in improving focus, productivity, digestion, increasing energy levels, and improving flexibility, blood flow and circulation.

Here is an example outline of our 4 Week Stress Resilience Program.

*Each workshop will be approximately 1-1.15 hours in duration.

Week 1

Introduction to Attention Training

  • What is mindfulness?
  • Awareness- how to create self-awareness.
  • Using the breath as an anchor to calm the mind.
  • Minimising internal distractions.

Week 2

Neuroplasticity & Habits

  • The brain & the science behind mindfulness practice.
  • Hard-wiring happiness.
  • The importance of pleasant awareness, kindness, positivity and gratitude.

Week 3

The Stress Response

  • Learning how to self-regulate and reduce reactivity.
  • Understanding the role of the amygdala.
  • Identifying early warning signs of stress & anxiety.
  • Neurobiology of emotions.

Week 4

Self-Care & Resilience Tools

  • Outsmarting the stress response.
  • Eliciting the relaxation response.
  • Dealing with difficult emotions/ pain/ sensations.

Bookings are available now for 2019. Please contact Engage Health for further information http://www.engagehealth.com.au/contact-us/

The New Integrative Approach For Improving Mental Health & Resilience in the Workplace

As an organisation we are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to improve staff wellness, reduce psychological distress and prevent injuries. We have set ourselves ambitious targets to increase the number of Victorians reporting high levels of resilience, and of course the workplace is a key setting for this.

We needed to find an effective formula that produced beneficial results for staff, as well as tangible business outcomes.

Creating a program that was embedded within a context of both Mind/Body and Integrative Medicine, was the winning formula. We combined themes from both our corporate mindfulness program, ‘Wise’, as well as our injury prevention program, ‘Engage’, to create the ‘Wise Worker’ program. For the first time in my career I was inspired to create a program that could draw on both qualifications as an exercise physiologist and a mindfulness practitioner. Teaching evidence-based injury prevention practices as well as well-researched mindfulness interventions meant we could achieve the holistic results we were looking for.

Over the last few months we trialled this exciting new program at the Department of Health and Human Services with the Disability Support Carers. Eight houses were selected throughout Victoria and we have now completed all eight departments. We are absolutely thrilled with the results, the testimonials and the self-reported feedback. The core purpose of the program was to inspire staff members to create personal health goals to see how good they could feel in four weeks. The goal setting and individual health screening was a key component that led to the cultivation of positive health behaviours.

Over the course of four weeks participants were taught how to integrate and apply mindfulness into their everyday lives, as well as how they can protect themselves from pain and injuries at home and at work.

Through combined mindfulness training and body awareness practices, staff learnt how to illicit the relaxation response. This was a key component of the program, not only for reducing injury risk but also for reducing pain, tension and muscle tightness. Suppression of the sympathetic nervous system and physiological stress response was also effective in improving digestion, increasing energy levels, and improving flexibility, blood flow and circulation. Mindful movement and guided injury prevention exercises were tailored specifically to assist in the prevention of wear and tear injuries due to postural dysfunction. Staff were encouraged to perform manual handling tasks with mindful awareness so they could slow down and perform the tasks correctly with proper posture and ergonomic equipment.

Disability support workers have a difficult and constant role. Work in helping professions can be incredibly rewarding, but also very challenging. Usually there is a focus on looking after others before themselves. For many support workers the idea of self-regulation and self-nourishment is a new concept, so this was a vital component of the program. Through mindfulness and breath work, staff were able to bring some calmness, clarity and appreciation back into their day. Teaching staff how to anchor themselves amidst the pull of turbulence in their lives helps them build the capacity to accept, tolerate and transform painful mind and body states without reacting so intensely to them.

When our body and our mind are working efficiently we feel great. Mood and workplace morale is improved and performance is enhanced. Educating staff using this combined approach to both mind and body training is one that we are pleased to say has been incredibly effective. We look forward to continuing this exciting new work with other professions in the near future.