Mental Health Month is observed in October throughout New South Wales with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues and mobilising efforts in support of mental health.

Thanks to our sponsor Westpac, and our supporter, Everymind, we were pleased to welcome David Burroughs, who is a senior workplace psychologist and was the founder of one of Australia’s first organisations to specialise exclusively in the early intervention and prevention of mental-ill in the workplace.

David really is a common-sense psychologist and he won the room over with his frank and practical approach to mental health. The main thing I took away is that we can’t sit in our discomfort – we need to have the uncomfortable conversations. And that can be as simple as saying to someone “I’ve noticed, I have concerns, do you have people to support you?”

I like that Dave also spoke about the fact it’s ok to have a bad day or a bad week and that it is a balance between understanding when there are mental health issues and when we are just experiencing emotions.

And finally – remember it is not your job just to ‘fix’ or ‘diagnose’ someone, it’s your job to show that you care and let them know there is always someone to talk with.

The numbers really do tell the story when it comes to mental health in the workplace …

  • 3.2 days lost to stress per worker per year
  • $400 billion is the cost of workplace stress per year globally

With 45% of Australians experiencing a mental health problem in their lifetime, it is likely that at some point, every worker will be affected by mental illness, either directly or indirectly.

I’d really encourage you all to look into the LifeSpan Suicide Prevention Program. My entire team at The Marketing GP have undertaken the QPR training – all it cost the business was $10 per person and wages for an hour of their time. To me that is a sound investment.

We really now have the end of the year in sight, and the Newcastle Business Club is already in full swing of planning for 2019. One major change is that we are investing in new software to assist with the tracking of our membership. What this means is that we will have one system where our members can sign up and buy tickets for events. Therefore, we have finished membership for 2018 and will open 2019 early bird membership on 1 November. Fingers crossed the implementation goes smoothly!

The Committee is also finalising details for our final luncheon for the year – which we have called the ultimate networking luncheon. It will be held on Tuesday 11 December 2018, so please set aside the date in your diary! We will also be holding our AGM prior to this luncheon and will shortly be calling for nominations for our 2019 Committee. I am pleased to say that a number of our committee members have indicated they would like to return for another year, but we will still be doing an open call for positions. If you are interested, please reach out to our Senior Vice-President Craig Wellings.

I look forward to seeing you at a luncheon.