Mental Health for Leaders

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Leadership Development Pathway
for: Mental Health in the Workplace

Program Overview:

This one day workshop has been developed for managers and leaders to help them understand and recognise job stress and mental health issues within the workplace. The workshop will assist leaders in identifying the risk factors that can contribute to job stress, anxiety and depression within the workplace as well as recognising the signs and symptoms of someone that may need support.

Participants will:

  • Equip leaders in understanding their roles and responsibilities in dealing with someone with a mental health condition

  • How to effectively approach someone; what adjustments may need to be made; how to deal with the rest of the team; and how to appropriately refer them to allied health professionals

  • Provide an overview of the roles and responsibilities of a leader in the recovery and return to work process.

Key Learning Outcomes:

  • Raise awareness about the signs of stress reactions vs mental health issues in co-workers and themselves

  • Recognise the potential workplace triggers and its impact on job stress and mental health conditions

  • Develop techniques in approaching an employee with a mental health condition and provide relevant support

  • Be aware of the guided principles in psychological first aid when managing an employee with a known diagnoses

  • Obtain additional mental health support for themselves and coworkers

  • Know how to make an appropriate referral and be aware of resources within the community.

Detailed Program Outline:

Module 1: 


Recognising Mental Health in the workplace

  • What is Mental Health?

  • Prevalence within our community

  • Common mental health conditions 

    • Mood Disorders (Depression, Bipolar disorder)

    • Generalised Anxiety Disorder

    • Panic Disorder

    • Social Anxiety Disorder

    • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

    • Specific Phobia

    • Post Trauma Stress Disorder

    • Substance Related Disorder

  • Personal Risk and Protective Factors

  • Treatment and Recovery

  • How mental health manifests at work- Behaviours, Cognitions, Physical and Emotional Responses.


Practical Exercise: 

  • DVD Video (lived experience of a person suffering anxiety, depression)

  • Group discussion and reflection questions relating to DVD

  • Case studies in recognising mental illness in the workplace.

Module 2:


Psychological Injury and Psychosocial

Hazards in the workplace

  • Prevention and Support Model 

  • Causes of Psychological injury - psychosocial hazards in the workplace

  • Individual Contributing Factors 

  • Workplace protective factors and ways to minimise risks  

  • Legislative Frameworks and your obligation.

Practical Exercise:

  • Case studies - identifying psychosocial hazards and effective control measures

  • Group Activity – Possible psychosocial hazards in your business & possible control measures

  • Group discussion – legislative breaches.

Module 3: 


Talking to your employees

  • Key Principles- approaching your staff

  • Framework to approaching someone you are concerned about

    • Preparing for the conversation

    • Talking with the employee

    • Follow up requirements

    • Informal vs Formal conversations 

  • Roles and Responsibilities as a leader

    • What is and is not your responsibility

    • Dos and Don’ts when talking with an employee

    • When does it become a performance management issue?

  • Communicating with the rest of the team.


Practical Exercise:

  • Case Scenario – behaviours and best approach

  • Case scenario – Planning a conversation using the key principles

  • Role play – Approaching an employee.

Module 4:


How to support recovery and return to work

  • What is meant by recovery and return to work?

  • Barriers to returning to work or remaining at work

  • Duty of care and risk mitigation 

    • For concerned employee- work capacity 

    • For rest of team’s health and wellbeing

  • Reasonable Adjustments in the workplace

  • Effective Management and early intervention strategies to improve positive outcomes

  • Developing a Recovery or Return to work plan.


Practical Exercise:

  • Case study – for return to work 

  • Case study- developing a return-to-work plan

  • Group Discussion – when things don’t work well.

Program Inclusions:

  • Each participant is provided with a comprehensive workbook which they use throughout the training program. The workbook also acts as an additional resource manual which can be drawn upon for future referencing. A personal action plan is completed by each participant to ensure transfer of skills back into the workplace.



  • 1x day

  • The program is very interactive and opportunities will be provided for discussions throughout the training program. To ensure group interactions and optimal learning the course is capped to12participants.

Program Prerequisites:

There are no prerequisites for this program.