Just like appointing the fire warden who assists with improving effective emergency procedures in the workplace, it’s ideal to appoint one of your workers into the role of a Mental Health Champion to help create a mentally healthy workplace.
A Mental Health Champion’s role is to bring awareness of and to support colleagues around workplace mental health. The role does not need to be full-time, it’s more about championing mental health by taking the lead in the workplace and being the main point of contact for information.
You may want to consider opening the role to all employees, as this enhances the business’authenticity and employee engagement and you may just find an unnoticed employee with a passion for mental health hidden in your ranks.
It is important though to make sure the right person is selected to preserve a virtuous environment and culture. Look for an employee who has these qualities:
- Passionate about mental health, thrives in helping, and great listening skills
- Able to provide time and resources for the communication of workplace mental health initiatives
- Embraces diversity and inclusion and is authentic
- Empathy over sympathy
- Able to empower colleagues to have conversations around various mental health issues
- Confident to know where to help direct colleagues for assistance
- Most importantly, this person must be respected by both the workers and management
We find a successful Mental Health Champion must bring empathy, resilience, and the ability to know the signs when a colleague requires attention. They have to be approachable, someone who embraces the topic of mental health with confidence, and can represent feedback to the business. But remember, it is not their role to provide counselling and find solutions to everyone’s problems, rather direct them to the right resource or help. For example, helping a co-worker access the company employee counselling program, not providing the counselling themselves.
Now that you have a Mental Health Champion appointed, what will their role entail? Click here to understand the role of a Mental Health Champion.