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Create a Stigma-Free Workplace

Like Minds, Like Mine challenges employers this Labour Day

This Labour Day, the Like Minds, Like Mine campaign is asking New Zealand employers to think carefully about how they can create a stigma-free workplace for people with experience of mental illness.

With one in five New Zealanders experiencing a mental health problem within the past year, mental health really is everyone’s business.

To assist employers, Like Minds, Like Mine have launched an online video interview with Glenys Barker, health and safety officer for Vero Insurance New Zealand Group www.likeminds.org.nz Barker demonstrates how the company makes reasonable accommodations for employees who have experienced mental illness without compromising high work standards.

“I believe that someone who has been through a life situation, which they have had to handle and come out the other side, can bring a lot to the workplace environment,” says Glenys Barker

“We’re very open to communicating with people and organising something that fits within their current situation…lowering of standards is certainly something that would not be an outcome of flexible working arrangements,” she says.

Employers wanting to advance their efforts towards a mentally healthy and stigma-free workplace can find plenty of free resources on the Mental Health Foundation’s Like Minds, Like Mine website www.likeminds.org.nz

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Employers can also read personal employment stories and use the online toolkit, which contains heaps of useful information – from how to create a stigma-free workplace, to articles on positive employment initiatives and recommendations for further reading.

Judi Clements, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, says “I’d like to congratulate Vero for providing a supportive environment for their employees with experience of mental illness. There are a number of other fantastic organisations who provide similar services and support but we’d like every employee to feel supported in their workplace.” She adds that providing a supportive workplace makes good economic sense. Labour Day is the ideal time for employers to reflect on what they can do and the Like Minds website provides plenty of tips and tools.

Over the coming weeks, Like Minds will be providing additional support and resources for employers, including a staffroom poster.


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