Employees and employers across NSW whose mental health has been impacted by the onset of COVID-19 are being encouraged to take part in a community consultation that will help drive how the NSW Government supports people when they need help most.
In order to hear from as many people as possible, the NSW Government has also launched an innovative new online community engagement tool where people can provide feedback through a range of easy-to-use methods such as quick polls, an online survey, and a digital ideas board.
Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson said the pandemic has had a dramatic impact on many people’s lives, especially through changing workplace practices.
“Many companies have shifted to a remote working model, while others have unfortunately had to reduce staff numbers or hours worked, leaving many NSW employees facing an uncertain future,” Mr Anderson said.
“We want to hear from people across all industries and in different types of working arrangements to get a clear understanding of how these unprecedented challenges have impacted workplace mental health.”
Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the consultation will complement the existing $45m Mentally Healthy Workplaces Strategy which is currently being reviewed.
“Knowing how to prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of staff is more important than ever,” Mrs Taylor said.
“This consultation represents a fantastic opportunity for people to share their concerns about returning to the office as well as suggest any additional supports they might need.”
Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the online engagement tool will set a new benchmark for how the Government engages with the public.
“By allowing people to choose how they engage with public consultations and by scrapping complicated lengthy forms and reducing the need for email submissions, we are cutting down barriers in engaging with government on critical issues and allow genuine two-way discussion,” Mr Dominello said.
The tool is mobile-friendly to allow people to engage on the go, and also has inbuilt privacy options giving people choice in how much information about themselves that they wish to share.
Once the consultation period finishes on 6 November, feedback will be summarised, reported online via the engagement tool and shared across government to inform further policy on mental health in the workplace.