CareFlight Aeromedical Specialist Caroline Marconi, who has taken advantage of Black Dog Institute’s mental health training for her team

Today is RUOK Day, and the Black Dog Institute has announced free mental health training for eligible NSW workplaces, with a particular focus on regional areas.

While managers, leaders, and employers are increasingly being asked to play a central role in the psychological wellbeing of teams, many are unsure how best to support their employees.

Black Dog Institute says their expert-led training proves you don’t need to be a mental health expert to make a difference, with 85% of managers reporting an increase in confidence to manage workplace mental health issues, following the training.

A series of easy-to-do programs provide practical strategies to influence positive mental health at work at an individual, team and organisational level.

Black Dog Institute

New conversations

‘This training gives people the skills to start a conversation about mental health at work,’ said Black Dog Institute Workplace facilitator, Carol Newall.

‘It might be they had noticed a change in behaviour of someone on their team, but didn’t know how to go beyond asking if they were ok,’ she said.

‘This training is also good to tell people what the latest thinking is on how to help and where information and services can be found if they do have a colleague in distress.’

More than 15,000 people across NSW have already completed the NSW government-funded training, with 98% reporting they would recommend it to others.

Carol Newall said, ‘Poor mental ill-health not only impacts the individual, but can have a ripple effect across the workplace, and within their communities. This training helps businesses keep employees healthy and ensure they’re coping at work.’

Black Dog Institute’s mental health training is available at no cost to NSW businesses with up to 200 workers, and not-for-profits of any size. It can be accessed online, with flexible options to suit all workplaces, anywhere in the state.

Find out more and apply here.

CareFlight Aeromedical Specialist Caroline Marconi

Mental health training in practice

CareFlight brings emergency care to people when and where required, with workers needing to be ready for any incident at any time. It’s a demanding job, and employee experiences can often be traumatic, although this is something not all CareFlight staff have been trained to deal with earlier in their careers.

‘While the doctors and nurses flying out to these situations are used to seeing trauma of all sorts, often those flying the planes or driving the ambulances are not,’ said Aeromedical Specialist Caroline Marconi.

‘We as an organisation wanted to make sure that everyone at CareFlight felt supported, and wanted to ensure we were looking after their mental health. Even those not on the front line deserve to feel supported and know that their organisation cares,’ she said.

This resulted in creation of a Wellbeing team who accessed mental health training with the Black Dog Institute.

Ms Marconi is now working to equip the rest of her team with the skills to look after their health and support others, with another twenty staff just having completed ‘Your Mental Health at Work’ training.

‘It’s important that every staff member knows we care for their mental wellbeing and they have training to start the conversation of asking their teammates – are you coping? I hope other organisations sign up too,’ said Caroline Marconi.

Find out more about RUOK Day here.