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Mental Health Guru

mental health guru can help your organisation to appropriately manage mental health issues and reduce associated productivity losses

  • Brief training for all staff

  • Information and how to get help

  • Interactive myth busting

  • Practical advice

  • Responsibilities of supervisor

Mental health in the workplace

20%

Approximately 1 in 5 people in the UK, Canada, USA and Australia will experience a mental health problem every year.

  • Office for National Statistics, 2015
  • Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2013.
  • Mental Health America, 2014.
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2007.

Mental illness creates high costs for employers due to absenteeism, presenteeism, compensation claims and turnover.

The estimated cost:
  • UK: £35 billion a year (Centre for Mental Health, 2017).
  • Canada: $6 billion a year ( Smetanin. et. al., 2011).
  • USA: $44 billion a year, 200 million days of lost work (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 2015).
  • Australia: $11 billion a year (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2014)

Employers have legal obligations in relation to the management of mental illness in the workplace.

  • UK: Equality Act 2010, Employment Rights Act 1996.
  • Canada: Canadian Human Rights Act, Employment Equity Act.
  • USA: Americans with Disability Act (ADA), OSHA, Family Medical Leave Act.
  • Australia: Disability Discrimination Act 1992, WH&S, Privacy Act 1998.

How can mental health guru help?

mental health guru will help your organisation to address these issues through:
  • Decreasing stigma

  • Increasing knowledge

  • Improving help-seeking

  • Improving management of mental health problems within the workplace.

How is mental health guru structured?

mental health guru delivers brief online training for workplaces, in two modules which are completed in order. These include information, interactive exercises, videos and quizzes with personalised feedback.

Module 1: Depression

  • Understanding depression, its impact and how it is diagnosed.
  • Treatment options, risk factors and how to get help.
  • Myth-busting and stigma.
  • Depression in the workplace.

Module 2: Anxiety

  • Understanding anxiety, worry and different types of disorders.
  • Treatment options, risk factors and how to get help.
  • Common misconceptions and stigma.
  • Anxiety in the workplace.

Myth-busting

Negative attitudes to mental disorders can prevent people from seeking appropriate help and can lead to worse outcomes. Stigma can also lead to mismanagement of issues within the workplace.

mental health guru busts common myths about depression and anxiety, and educates users so that workplace issues can be managed appropriately.

Evidence for effectiveness

mental health guru has been evaluated in a randomised controlled trial, which showed use of the program improved employee knowledge and decreased employee stigma about depression and anxiety, and these effects were sustained after six months.

Griffiths, K.M., Bennett, K., Walker, J., Goldsmid S., Bennett, A. Effectiveness of MH-Guru, a brief online mental health program for the workplace: A randomised controlled trial. Internet Interventions 2016; 6: 29-39.

Frequently Asked Questions

Mental Health Guru (MH-Guru) is an online training program designed for use by all employees within a workplace. The program has a depression module and an anxiety module. MH-Guru is designed to improve employee awareness and encourage help seeking for these and other mental health issues.

Each module takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, and are comprised of:

  • information about each mental health condition
  • interactive exercises and myth busting
  • personal stories and videos
  • information to assist you to take care of your own or a co-worker’s mental wellbeing
  • information about how to access help, including Employee Assistance Programs
  • information for supervisors/managers about how to support employees with mental health issues, including legal obligations.

After completing the program, staff should have:

  • knowledge about mental health issues
  • skills to identify possible mental health problems
  • an understanding of how to respond appropriately to colleagues who might be suffering from a mental health problem
  • knowledge about how to access evidence-based help resources
  • decreased stigmatising attitudes

MH-Guru is intended for all employees within an organisation, from the most senior managers to junior and new staff.

Yes. A pilot study of the MH-Guru program within an Australian organisation showed that employees who accessed MH-Guru improved their knowledge, exhibited less stigma, and increased their intentions to seek help for depression and anxiety. These outcomes are likely to translate into less suffering for the employee, and increased productivity and reduced absenteeism.

More recently these findings have been confirmed in a ‘gold standard’ randomised controlled trial of the program in a different Australian organisation. You can access the research paper here: KM Griffiths, et al. Effectiveness of MH-Guru, a brief online mental health program for the workplace: A randomised controlled trial. Internet Interventions 2016; 6: 29-39.

MH-Guru was originally developed and evaluated over four years by researchers at the Australian National University. The research and development team was led by Professor Kathy Griffiths, an internationally recognised leader in e-mental health and stigma research.

The development and delivery of MH-Guru is now undertaken by e-hub Health – an ANU spin-off company managed by the senior members of the original team. e-hub Health is committed to the ongoing development of quality resources which make a measurable impact in the wellbeing of users.