Wellington Primary Care Partnership (WPCP), as part of Gippsland Women’s Health, has received $485,000 from WorkSafe’s WorkWell program to deliver an exciting new mental health project across Wellington Shire.
Working Well in Wellington is a three year project that aims to improve the mental health of shift workers. The funding will enable WPCP to employ a project worker to lead this project with Wellington employers and their staff to develop positive mental health strategies for shift workers.
WPCP Executive Officer, Angie Collins said the project was developed with the support of WPCP partners.
“We are proud that ours was one of five projects that were funded out of many applications received from across Victoria”, Angie said. “It is particularly exciting that ours is the only project in round one that is based in regional Victoria. We now have a real opportunity to do ground- breaking work in this important area and put Wellington on the map”.
The project will work with shift workers and their families to identify any mental health issues that they may be facing as a result of shift work and then trial some new strategies to improve their mental wellbeing.
“There is not a lot of Australian work being done in this area”, Angie said. “We do know that the workplace can impact mental health”.
Mental health is one of the key factors in unplanned leave and decreased productivity in Australian workplaces.
The WorkWell program provides support to employers to help to prevent risk of mental injury at work and promote mental health and wellbeing, so employees can contribute positively to the workplace, home and wider community.
The program aims to support employers to proactively create safe and mentally healthy environments so that employees thrive and the risk of work-related psychological harm or mental injury is reduced.
Central Gippsland Health (CGH) is the first employer to sign up to the project. Chief Executive Officer, Frank Evans said the health service was keen to work with its staff to improve their health.
“Maintaining good mental health is extremely important in what can be a very demanding work environment, and we see this project as a very exciting opportunity for us to show leadership in the health sector,” Dr Evans said.
After a 12 month trial at CGH, the project will be rolled out to other employers across Wellington who are interested in improving mental health in their workplaces. Interested employers can contact the Project Officer, Linda Hunt on 03 5143 8868 or at Linda.Hunt@cghs.com.au.