Fine Tuning Automotive Mental Health, a program funded by WorkSafe’s WorkWell Mental Health Improvement Fund, has been developed by VACC and its program partner, Alcohol and Drug Awareness Australia.
The aim of the program is to promote positive mental health and wellbeing and prevent mental injury by working with business owners and leaders within small to medium businesses to understand the key work-related risk factors that can impact mental health in the workplace.
These are things like workload stress, poor workplace support, relationships, conflict and dispute resolution, role clarity and recognition, training and support, and the physical work environment.
Over the past two years, 250 businesses have taken the opportunity to participate in the FTAMH program. These businesses are from regional of Victoria – including Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Mansfield, Warragul and Sale – and across metropolitan Victoria. COVID-19 restrictions permitting, our facilitators have been on the road conducting site visits and speaking with business owners and service managers about mental health in the workplace.
They have provided resource material to assist these business leaders in managing work-related risk factors. Our facilitators have also conducted many follow-up meetings, and offered support over the phone when unable to meet face-to-face. The feedback about the program and our facilitators has been extremely positive and the resources have been well received by managers – many stating they are now more aware of the work-related risk factors and more confident in talking about mental health in the workplace.
Just some of the changes that have occurred as a result of this program are improved communication with the implementation of toolbox meetings, or the improved frequency and quality of toolbox meetings. Employers are taking the opportunity to display the mental health and support services posters in their workplaces and to incorporate them into the meetings to start the conversation about mental health.
Additionally, employers have reviewed or introduced induction programs for new employees and reviewed relevant policies and procedures. Many businesses have reviewed current practices and incorporated small changes, including considering how they can better support young and mature-aged workers. Businesses have also looked at improving flexibility where possible.
Although heavily impacted by COVID-19 restrictions at times, we are also very pleased to have conducted Community Hub meetings in Mansfield and Warragul. Business owners and service managers were able to come together to share experiences and hear from subject matter experts.
This funded program will come to an end on 30 June 2022, however, the Fine Tuning Automotive Mental Health website will remain in place and will continue to provide dedicated resource pages with printable posters, an action plan booklet and videos. Most importantly, it will contain a link to the WorkSafe WorkWell Toolkit, which provides step-by-step advice and practical resources to assist small business owners to create mentally healthy workplaces.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all businesses that have participated in this program, the Steering Committee that has provided direction and support and the program facilitators who covered many kilometres and worked tirelessly over the last two years to make this program a success.
To review resources and for more information about the Fine Tuning Automotive Mental Health program, visit: finetune.vacc.com.au
Words: FTAMH Project Coordinator, Leanne Moyle. As featured in Australasian Automotive June 2022.