Healthcare professionals working in public hospitals experience a range of risk factors for anxiety and depression including heavy workloads, long working hours, shift work, work-effort imbalance, abuse/mistreatment from patients, bullying and harassment and home-work stress.
In order to help address this, Beyond Blue is working with healthcare industry to help make public hospitals mentally healthier workplaces. Based on feedback from Victorian public hospitals, Beyond Blue is planning to develop a practical guide specifically for hospitals on how to implement a workplace mental health strategy for all their staff.
This resource will help to guide leaders in creating a mental health strategy specific to their hospital and clearly identify the steps and resources necessary to implement a mental health strategy that supports the mental health and wellbeing of their doctors, nurses and other health services employees.
The development of this resource will be informed by representatives from Victorian hospitals, medical and healthcare industry groups and other hospital subject matter experts, as well as consultation with blueVoices members.
Who we are looking for
At this early stage of the project we would like to hear about the experiences of blueVoices members who are currently working or have previously worked (within the last few years) in a hospital, in any capacity (as a doctor, nurse, allied health or in another role).
We would like to understand from blueVoices members with this industry experience, the key issues that impact on your mental health and what expectations you would have of your employer during the course of them developing and implementing a mental health strategy for your hospital. Your insights will help to guide the content of this resource and highlight the issues which are important to hospital staff.
In addition to informing the content of the resource, experiences shared in this consultation may be included in the resource as short quotes, alongside a first name and state only. You can choose to use an alternative name if you wish, or opt out of this altogether by letting us know your preference in the response form.
Thank you for sharing your insights and experiences to help guide the development of Beyond Blue's new workplace mental health guidelines for hospitals.
The Beyond Blue team leading this project really appreciated your valuable input. Project lead Safia Roscoe had the following message for participants:
"A big thank you for your open and honest responses to this consultation. Beyond Blue is very excited about the potential impact that this resource will have on creating mentally healthier workplaces in hospitals and are very grateful for your contributions."
Safia also passed on the below information about the feedback received and how this will shape the project.
What you told us
Key themes that arose from the blueVoices consultation mirrored issues raised more broadly in our research and discussion with hospital leaders and industry stakeholders. Particularly in respect to the difficulties that hospital staff face in managing long working hours, exposure to trauma, highly competitive environments, poor workplace culture, occupational violence and increased incidence of bullying and harassment.
What came across very clearly from the consultation was that blueVoices members with an experience of working in a hospital felt that there were no clear avenues for support and that the stigmatising culture makes it very difficult to seek support.
How your contribution helps
The input from blueVoices members has provided the project team with some very valuable insights into the primary challenges facing hospital staff in terms of managing a mental health condition at work. Additionally, the feedback will enable us to ensure that the issues identified by blueVoices members are considered at each phase of the Guide’s development (from planning through to dissemination).
The blueVoices input will be (anonymously) provided to the project team’s expert content writer, and be considered along with the feedback received from the Workplace Mental Health Strategy for Hospitals Steering Committee and a broad range of other external stakeholders (academics, medical and healthcare industry experts, workplace mental health specialists) to inform the content of the Guide.
What happens next
The Workplace Mental Health Strategy for Hospitals Steering Committee will meet again in late August to help Beyond Blue refine and prioritise the key steps and suggested actions to be included in the Guide. After this meeting the Beyond Blue project team will begin developing a draft, which we expect to be completed by mid-October.
blueVoices members will be invited to provide feedback on all, or part (where relevant) of the first draft later in the year.