As a national mental health and suicide prevention advocate, Chairman of Lifeline Australia and President of LifeLine International, and former CEO of Lifeline, John has shared his lived experience with mental health, suicide and recovery to help others. John also sits on the Board of Colonial First State superannuation fund and is the Independent Chair of AusPayNet.
John was one of the first ambassadors to partner with us in creating mentally health workplaces across the state. He believes that mental health in the workplace is just as important as physical health.
“Having a mentally healthy workplace isn't just morally the right thing to do, it is the smart business thing to do. It means that you have people who are engaged and loyal because they and their mental health is being looked after, making them more productive.
“Employers and managers in workplaces need to able to understand what mental illness is and be able to identify it and help their staff in a very safe and comforting and supportive way.”
John has an extensive history of community service through his representational roles with social welfare organisations including Lifeline, business and financial sectors and the Parliament of NSW, for which he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
Mental health in a corporate setting
John speaks about his lived experience with mental health and the initiatives he implemented in his former role as CEO, Landcom.
- Actively managing his own mental health through ongoing counselling.
- Getting an adequate amount of sleep.
- Managing the mental load through effectively avoiding stressful situations
As former CEO for Landcom, John was responsible for driving key actions such as:
- Engaged an Employee Assistance program (EAP) provider.
- Annual training on workplace bullying, building strong relationships, discrimination and EEO.
- Participated in the NSW Government’s free mental health programs and developed a health and wellbeing program focused on three pillars - Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies, Healthy Places.
- Updated Landcom’s organisational health and safety policy to include wellbeing.
- Facilitated various employee mental health awareness sessions during SafeWork month, mental health month and R U OK? Day with workshops on sleep, working from home, ergonomics and self-care.
- Quarterly wellbeing check-ins with all staff while working remotely to identify and assist staff who may be struggling with remote working and pandemic stress.
- A wellbeing challenge program improved cross-team collaboration while working remotely.
- Mental health training has been rolled out to all staff, that focusses on identifying team members who may be in stress and how to assist them with empathy.
- Fortnightly wellness classes available for all staff.
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