How to Have SAFE Mental Health Conversations with Staff

How to Have SAFE Mental Health Conversations with Staff

As the curtains of stigma around mental health slowly part, the need for genuine conversations in the workplace has never been more essential. Why implementing, 'How to Have SAFE Mental Health Conversations with Staff' course could be the answer to your organisational health and prosperity.  

Don't wait for mental health to become a problem — create an environment where discussing it is normal.  

Understanding the Importance of Mental Health Conversations in the Workplace 

Navigating mental health is one of the most sensitive and critical tasks for any employer. We spend a significant portion of our lives at work, making it not just a professional ground but a social and psychological one too.

Nevertheless, the statistics are glaring: 

New Management skill required
  • -1 in 6 workers is dealing with a mental health problem, such as anxiety, depression or stress-related illnesses. 
  • -Failure to address these issues can lead to increased absence from work, reduced productivity and more errors. 

So, why discuss mental health at work? For starters, it's about humanity and equity — treating each other as full-fledged human beings. Discussing mental health also has business merits. It leads to: 

  • -Greater job satisfaction among employees, boosting employee engagement. 
  • -Improved trust between employees and management, leading to a healthy company culture. 
  • -Reduction in the taboos associated with mental health, encouraging early intervention and support. 

The 'SAFE' model emphasizes a structured approach without jumping to conclusions or giving unwanted advice, maintaining a professional yet empathetic stance. 

safe conversations

“What if I say the wrong thing and make it worse” “It’s not my job to take on other people’s stuff”

“I am not trained to handle this” “Why don't they just do their job?”

Managers are not trained to solve these problems, and it's not their problem to solve.

But they can learn how to develop a critical leadership skill - how to connect and have a person-centered conversation with their team member or colleague - and not think that they have to play doctor or therapist and try to solve the problem!!

Skill-Building and Scenario Handling 

Practical exercises and role-plays prepare your workforce for real-world scenarios. Participants sharpen their skills in: 

Active Listening: Distinguishing hearing from listening and its therapeutic benefits. 

Empathy Building: Seeing the world from someone else's perspective, without bias or judgment. 

Language Toolkit: Cultivating a toolkit of respectful and supportive language to use in delicate conversations. 

Referral Protocol: Understanding when to refer an employee to professional help and how to do so discreetly. 

The reality of not implementing a mental health program in an organisation is that it costs a business more by not implementing than it does if they did implement.  Many may currently be feeling uncertain, productivity with increased negativity, criticism, withdrawn, complaining, disengaged, moody, many feeling that work is just a job and a chore.

Case Study

Your organisation is compromised of you the Chief Executive Officer, you have two team leaders who operate a team of 5 people each.

  • Your salary is $300,000.
  • Your Team Leaders earn $120,000
  • The rest of the team average around $70,000 per year

If each staff member is suffering from anxiety (anxiety is worrying about the future), then productivity will drop on average by 10%.  This drop in productivity will cost your company about $124,000.

The Cost of Under Performance due to having no Mental Health Program in Your Workplace

Let’s say two staff members (one team leader and a team member) have left due to the increase in negativity and criticism in the workplace.  Staff turnover and retraining of new staff members cost you another 10% of their salary costs which is a further $19,000 to recruit and retrain along with lost productivity while retraining.

One staff member was moody with a customer and that customer complained and plastered it all over social media.  Your business reputation has taken a beating.  The cost of further marketing and damage control has been significant.

Do you feel like you don't know how to connect with other people?

You're not alone. Most people find it difficult to connect and have a conversation with someone else – especially if they're going through a tough time. That's where our course comes in. It teaches you how to have those conversations in a way that makes the other person feel heard, validated, and empowered.

With the skills learned in this course, you'll be able to support others through their tough times and help them find the resources they need to get back on their feet. You'll be able to make a real difference in someone's life – just by having a conversation.