When safety became the focus of all industry, we implemented the Occupational health, safety and environment representatives. Companies invested heavily into the education of these people to ensure they were well equipped to ensure the workplace risks were reduced and in the event that an incident did occur, were there to make sure things were put in place to ensure it does not happen again.
As the environment changes around us, we now need to shift our focus to also consider the mental health of our people.
Appointing a mental health rep within the organisation may be a step in the right direction to ensure your people feel they have the ability to release any mental health tension.
The airline industry has had a similar practice in place for their pilots for many years as a stressed pilot is dangerous not only to themselves but also to the hundreds of passengers on the flight.
The simple act of having an appointed and skilled representative to check in on people to see if they are okay and assist the person in coping with their situation may be all that is needed.
This role is by no means a psychologist, but simply a person who looks out for the mental wellbeing of the workforce and lending an ear so the people know they have someone they can trust and speak with in confidence.
Leaders need to promote the role of the mental health rep and the critical role they plan in supporting their people live a safe and health life and perform at their best.
The below link is a great article from the UK speaking of the importance of managing and leading in mental health