OPINION

Mental health strategy to help with shifts in ways of working

WORKING FROM HOME: One of the changes due to lockdown. Image: Shutterstock
WORKING FROM HOME: One of the changes due to lockdown. Image: Shutterstock

I wish to remind everyone that SafeWork NSW's Mentally Healthy Workplaces Strategy is available with the aim to improve workplace mental health in response to significant shifts in ways of working due to COVID-19.

The re-designed strategy is focused on helping every type of business in the Upper Hunter become mentally healthy.

In the last two years SafeWork NSW received more than 5,000 calls for assistance and information in relation to bullying and other psychosocial risks as well as how to get started in creating a mentally healthy workplace.

This re-designed strategy is about helping employers move from a model of only prioritising mental health at work following an incident, to offering targeted and proactive support to their employees throughout the year.

One new initiative in the strategy is "direct practical coaching" for small and medium businesses, providing business leaders with one-on-one coaching from experts on workplace mental health.

The new and improved strategy also includes tailoring of programs and services to meet the unique needs of regional and remote businesses.

For more information please see attached link Free training and coaching | NSW Government

Nominations for outstanding women of the year

The search is on for the most outstanding and influential women in NSW, with nominations now open for the 2022 NSW Women of the Year Awards.

I am calling for nominations to recognize the significant contributions women of the Upper Hunter make to their community.

We all know a woman who is the first to roll up her sleeves to help others, has demonstrated incredible potential or has made lasting change in her chosen field.

Let's not keep their achievements a secret. I urge everyone to put forward the inspirational woman in their life for an award.

Categories include the Woman of Excellence, Aboriginal Woman of the Year, Aware Super NSW Community Hero of the Year, Young Woman of the Year and Regional Woman of the Year.

NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, was named 2021 NSW Woman of Excellence and 2021 NSW Woman of the Year. She highlighted the continuing dedication of her peers during the pandemic.

The 2021 program saw a record number of nominations as women stepped up in the face of drought, fire, flood and a global pandemic.

Nominations close on Friday 17 September 2021 and can be submitted here: https://facs.smartygrants.com.au/WOTYA2022

More public sector job opportunities for Upper Hunter

Up to 900 senior leadership roles within the NSW Government will be based across regional NSW to ensure critical decisions which affect the bush are made by people who live and work in the communities they serve.

The NSW Government is committed to maintaining and growing the size of the public sector workforce in regional NSW.

Earlier this year the NSW Government committed to increasing the number of regionally based roles in the public sector; all NSW Government departments are on board and will place key jobs in regional NSW.

This means decisions about classroom resources will be informed by people whose children are enrolled in local schools, and decisions about hospital upgrades will be informed by people whose family and friends rely on those facilities.

It means key decisions made at the highest levels of Government will be directly informed by leaders who live and work in the regions, in our community.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said to achieve this strategy the NSW Government has committed to targets for senior leadership roles to be based in regional NSW by 2025.

The Public Service in NSW should reflect NSW, and that means having leaders spread across the state - not just in Parramatta and the Sydney CBD.

Regional NSW is the engine room of the state's economy, home to one-third of the state's population and deserving of fair representation at the highest levels of Government.

The NSW Government's Regionalisation Strategy aims to increase the number of leadership positions on the ground in regional areas, promote local decision making and deliver more senior job opportunities for regional employees.

To find your next job opportunity please visit https://iworkfor.nsw.gov.au/

Dave Layzell is the Member for Upper Hunter