One woman is determined to get the Newcastle community talking about workplace mental health, with a strong focus on education and connection.
Calmit is a new service for employers and businesses, focused on providing the necessary tools to engage in open conversations about mental health in the workplace.
Founder, Julia Busquets has spent over 15 years working as a registered nurse, including mentoring about mental health for the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Newcastle.
She has the ambition to break down barriers, stigmas and discrimination around mental health in the workplace, which she believes is still quite prominent.
“People are still very conscious about mentioning anything about mental health; my aim is to see changes within the workplace and look forward to presenting ways in which this can be achieved,” Busquets said.
“I want to make it real and inspire people, where they feel comfortable to come forward and address their mental health issues.
“To help people connect and resonate, I will use my real, authentic and honest experiences.”
Around 90 per cent of employees think mental health is an important issue for businesses, but only 50 per cent believe their workplace is mentally healthy.TNS (2014). State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia. Melbourne: Beyond Blue.
Busquets has struggled with her own share of mental health issues and hopes to use these experiences to help others.
“I have managed to get through all these hard times, particularly in the workplace, I’ve had a lot of falls, so I’m willing to risk that and share my story so I can help others,” Busquets said.
“I think we have all struggled with mental health issues at times, and I’m not saying everyone has to come forward.
“I’m there to bring light to those people that do struggle and its okay to talk about it, rather than secretly hiding and keeping it all in.”
The three-hour Calmit workshop provides increased awareness and education on different mental disorders, builds resilience and emotional intelligence, promotes non-judgmental communication, and decreases stigmas and workplace discrimination.
One in five Australian workers are currently experiencing a mental health condition.TNS (2014). State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia. Melbourne: Beyond Blue.
“Workshops will be very hands-on and will provide practical coping skills, and teach co-workers how to help and support each other,” Busquets said.
“The three main Calmit workshop highlights are recognise, educate, and connect.
“Recognising mental health issues is the challenge, education is easy if you have the right tools and coping skills—then, with a level of understanding and education, we can connect with ourselves, our co-workers and the workplace.”
Busquets guides the workshops by informing and teaching how to manage workloads, creates individualised care plans, introduces buddy support training, and helps to seek outside intervention and support.
“I’m hoping that the topic will become very open and transparent,” she said.
“Mental health issues shouldn’t define you or affect your job prospects.
“Let’s start the conversation and let it evolve into an easy chat to have.”
For more information on services, and contact information visit: https://www.calmit.com.au/