Beyond Blue recognises that there is a significant amount of existing expertise, experience and research relating to workplace mental health that can guide and inform our work. Where evidence gaps exist, Beyond Blue commissions and contributes to other research projects to address these gaps.
We work closely with a range stakeholders, including industry bodies, unions, professional associations, work health and safety regulators, and mental health organisations.
Beyond Blue is supported by a national engagement strategy which focuses on engaging directly with employers, as well as engaging employers through a range of avenues. This includes workplace health and safety regulators, industry associations and other organisations who are focused on enhancing the health of Australian workplaces.
The strategy focuses on building the understanding and capacity of organisations to create mentally healthy workplaces through a collaborative and coordinated approach. It also includes presenting at a range of conferences and holding events in partnership with other organisations to promote workplace mental health.
In partnership with the Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA) Beyond Blue has established a reference group involving 45 small business owners (including sole traders, microbusiness owners and business owners employing 5-19 staff). This group was chaired by Leanne Faulkner (a small business owner and advocate for mental health). Through consultation with this group, a range of key challenges that could affect the mental health of small business owners were identified, including:
- Unrealistic portrayal in the media
- Financial Strain
- High work demands, poor work-life balance
Through this consultation, small business owners also identified that hearing from other small business owners about their experiences is a preferred way to receive workplace mental health information.
Beyond Blue is currently planning the next phase of our small business project, which is to work with key small business intermediary organisations to develop an approach to reach small business owners and their staff with relevant, practical mental health information. Prior to commencing this phase, we are consulting with Business Chambers, Business Enterprise Centres, Business Councils, Small Business Commissioners, Small Business Mentors, Accountants, Local Business Banks, Academics and Small Business Advocacy groups and other key government agencies within each State and Territory to inform our next steps.
Beyond Blue funds a range of research projects primarily designed to identify, and then address, the gaps in the evidence base of workplace mental health.