The earlier you identify a worker is experiencing stressors, the earlier you can intervene.
What is Support Mechanisms?
Whilst some stress or work difficulty is normal, it’s important to have in place a number of organisational level mechanisms to support your staff and volunteers. Being proactive in providing peer level support to your colleagues or seeking support for yourself is also a protective behaviour.
Why does this matter?
Think of it like the airbag in a car, the safety announcement on the plane and the life jacket under your seat. Vital they are there! These are the workplace wellbeing airbags and lifejackets. The social sector is one where many people face out to clients and are exposed to difficult things. So we have to be extra careful in our sector to have appropriate support in place.
What does this look like when it's managed well?
It looks like a leader being relieved that support is in place, available to staff and on the ready. Staff and volunteers know that there are a diverse range of accessible, tried and tested support mechanisms in place. People feel comfortable to support each other, know when to intervene and where to turn for professional support.
What does this look like when it's not managed well?
It looks like a leader scrambling to find out what to do when a situation arises. Situations can unnecessarily escalate or get out of control. Staff and volunteers feel unsupported or don’t know where to turn for help. Co-workers don’t feel like they can intervene or support each other.
Ways to use this module
This module comprises a selection of resources to help your organisation to proactively support the mental health and wellbeing of staff and volunteers.
- Read the list of organisational wellbeing supports to see what you may be able to put in place.
- If you are a leader, ask your team what would support them best.
- If you are a staff member or volunteer, let your organisation know what support is most useful.
- If you are a small team, talk together about how you could support each other.