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Engineering firm puts #HANDSUP for mental health


5 June 2019

The chances of knowing someone who has struggled, or is struggling with mental health, is incredibly high, as 45 percent of people are expected to experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.

But one engineering company is encouraging people to talk about it and put their hands up if they know someone, or if they are someone, who has experienced mental health issues.

G&S Engineering's I Know Someone video was rolled out to their employees earlier this year, together with a toolkit, as part of their #HANDSUP – end the stigma, change lives campaign.

The video and toolkit provide tips, support and information for employees to take care of their own mental health, and to support others.  The toolkit includes a business size support card, wall calendar, hard hat sticker and USB with information.

G&S Engineering Manager of Human Resources,  Haley Lee said the mental health of their employees is just as important as their physical health.

“G&S Engineering has always had a high focus on the physical safety of our employees, but we've recognised that to ensure the physical health of our employees we need to also put the same effort into their mental health as the two go hand in hand,” she said.

“We had noticed the increase in individuals who are experiencing mental health conditions  particularly in our industry.  Managers and supervisors needed to provide support and advice to their teams, but often didn't know how to handle situations that involve mental health issues.

“Our vision of a mentally healthy workplace is one that protects and promotes mental health and empowers people to seek help. Through the #HANDSUP initiative we aim to break down the stigma associated with mental illness and create a workplace where it is okay to speak up about mental illness and seek help, without judgement.”

#HANDSUP aims to:

  • Raise awareness through education
  • Reduce stigma
  • Promote and encourage help seeking behaviours
  • Support management, individuals, families and the community
  • Promote positive job roles and working environments.

“If we can be successful in reaching our employees not only do we create a healthier, safer workplace, but the attitudes and help seeking behaviours achieved will filter through to families and the community at large,” Haley said.

The #HANDSUP video and toolkit was launched in July and has been rolled out across their 1000 employees.

WorkCover Queensland Customer Service Manager Helen Creagh commended G&S Engineering on the initiative, and hoped that the campaign would have a positive benefit to the workers and their families.

“It's great to see companies like G&S Engineering breaking down the stigma and encouraging people to talk about mental illness, and share ways to seek help and support.”

Watch the film.

If you or someone you know needs help, contact:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

beyondblue: 1300 22 4636