GMW leading the change on workplace mental health

Tuesday 27 October, 2020

Goulburn-Murray Water is renewing its focus on a mentally healthy workplace in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) with a suite of innovative practises in place across the business to improve the safety and wellbeing of staff.

In recognition of GMW’s call to action on workplace mental health, the organisation has been invited to help launch and contribute to the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) mental health framework.

Developed by the WSAA in partnership with Beyond Blue and other water industry organisations, the framework explores eight critical areas to drive change through a number of actions. GMW’s Peer Support program is featured as a case study forming part of the framework.

GMW’s Managing Director Charmaine Quick and General Manager People, Culture and Safety Glenda Smith recorded a short film describing mental health initiatives in place to proactively care for staff. A collection of films featuring 10 water industry leaders and 12 case studies was launched with the framework today.  

Quotes

GMW Managing Director Charmaine Quick

“We’re pleased to be part of an industry-wide initiative on mental health and contribute a case study of our amazing Peer Support network to be part of the framework.”

“At GMW, we are ramping up support to intervene early and support recovery utilising the Water Services Association of Australia mental health framework.”

GMW General Manager People, Culture and Safety Glenda Smith

“Our mental health strategy is driving cultural change across our workplace and focuses on the wellbeing of staff during this extended period of working from home and in readiness to return to the workplace.”

“Our Peer Support network is made up of trained volunteers who provide a confidential and independent support service for their fellow staff who may be struggling.”

“The volunteers are trained as mental health first aiders and supported by a mental health professional. More than 2600 employee support contacts have been made within the business since implementation on home and work issues.”

Background

October is Health and Safety Month and GMW is taking the opportunity to improve health and safety within our workplace. The theme this year is Work, Health and Safety through COVID-19.

GMW recently celebrated R U OK? Day with a virtual morning tea. Senior and executive leaders are continuing this important conversation around mental health for the entire year by asking staff this simple question. A wellbeing survey was carried out earlier this month to explore how our people are feeling with extra pressures like home schooling and socialising less. Other initiatives include facilitating flexible working options for staff to enable less pressure while working from home.