Get your head around employee mental health

Employers are increasingly having to manage staff with mental illnesses across Australia, with more than half of organisations reporting an increase in cases, according to a recent survey[1].  There is a growing case for organisations taking a bigger role in their employees’ health – both mental and physical. Enter Nick Chartres, also known as The Good Food Dude, who is helping companies address this growing concern.

“The figures are deeply concerning,” Nick said. “Depression and anxiety are by far the most common workplace mental illnesses, accounting for 94% of reported cases. Most alarmingly, out of 226 businesses studied 44% of them reported suicide or attempted suicide at their workplaces in the last two years[2] – clearly something needs to be done.”

Nick recognises organisations need to be more proactive at keeping wellbeing front of mind for all employees, leading to his comprehensive corporate health program. Along with nutrition and exercise a focus on mental health is a core component.  “The Mental Health Challenge is designed to specifically focus on supporting and improving the mental health of each and every employee. It aims to promote sustainable behaviours around exercise, nutrition and mental health, in a non-competitive environment,” Nick explained. “The whole point is to expose employees to new and fun experiences in a relaxed environment, leading to better mental health.”

Organisations can elect for The Good Food Dude Health Challenge to run for 4, 6, 8 or 10 weeks, with a range of services and programs to include. The program includes weekly seminars covering diet, exercise and mental health, as well as body composition and physiotherapist assessments, individual online portals for all participants with exercise advice, recipe suggestions and more. Tailored programsare created for each participant to cater for age, available time and any medical concerns. Nick also offers massage, yoga, pilates, stress management and a host of other sessions that can be handpicked by the organisation.