Health and

Focusing on mental health

Downer’s annual Our Safety Focus program guides employees to re-focus their attention on the importance of Zero Harm in the workplace. Zero Harm safety leadership continues to be a key strategic theme across the entire suite of leadership development initiatives.

This year, Our Safety Focus emphasised the importance of mental health and wellbeing to a safe workplace. The program provided guidance on indicators of poor health and simple practical measures to support mental health and wellbeing. The program also explored the relationship between wellbeing and good decision making.

In 2018 we also formed the Group Health function to initially focus on changing the conversation around mental health, reduce stigma and empower our people with strategies and activities that will support their mental health and wellbeing, and assist them to support their workmates. The function works with all Divisions, and over the past 12 months the team has developed Downer’s mental health strategy and introduced a procedure and response plan to identify levels of psychological impairment and the appropriate actions to respond and support those impaired. The team has also delivered a high-quality accredited Mental Health First Aid training program to 1,123 employees to date. A recent participant in the training said: “I am extremely proud to work for an organisation that is at the forefront of mental health awareness and is upskilling staff to help spot the warning signs and provide them with the skillset to assist. This course is fantastic.”

The Group Health team is also providing support to Downer to embed the training and wellbeing strategies into their workplace, with one business looking at embedding Mental Health First Aid Officers.

This year, Downer’s New Zealand team also introduced a wellbeing program which included the launch of a Wellbeing Hub. The online hub covers the five essential elements of wellbeing – community, social, physical, career and finance – and provides resources and information to help support employees, their whanau (family) and the broader community. While the hub is dedicated to providing tools and resources, the wellbeing program also aims to promote discussion about wellbeing at every level of the business. A Wellbeing Wall activity encouraged people to talk to each other about wellbeing.

The program also includes the Helping Hands Awards. Each year there will be up to 10 Wellbeing Helping Hands Awards, worth up to $500 each, available to help our employees start their wellbeing journey.