Interview with Gregory J Kentish
CEO of Acacia Connection, the employee assistance program implemented at Sharp & Carter.
Sharp & Carter has now implemented an Employee Assistance Program offering counselling to help employees dealing with life’s challenges, outside or inside the workplace. Because we believe that we can and should, care for people in our business. We believe in treating others as we would like to be treated and this is why supporting our employees to be the best they can is one of our core missions.
To understand better the need for companies to offer Psychological support to their staff, we interviewed Greg Kentish, CEO of Acacia, the Employee Assistance Program we offer at Sharp & Carter.
CAN YOU PLEASE GIVE US SOME FACTS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE?
Here are some interesting facts given by the Australian government:
Mental ill health touches everyone:
- Mental ill-health is more prevalent than people realise.
- Australia is ranked amongst the lowest of all OECD countries for rate of workforce participation by people with disability, including those with mental illness.
- The typical of onset for mental ill health is late teens to early 20s. They will spend their working lives managing their mental health.
- 1 out of 5 people have experienced a mental health disorder in the last 12 months.
- 3 million Australians are living with depression anxiety, which is about 13% of our population.
Mental health in the workplace:
- Mental ill health affects how a person feels, thinks, behaves and interacts with others.
- It is likely that as a manager you will supervise a worker experiencing mental illness.
- Approximately 7% of workers in any organisation will develop clinically significant depressive symptoms in any one year.
WHAT AS A COMPANY, CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
Being a mentally supportive workplace – conservative stats say 45% of the population will experience a mental health disorder across their lifetime, this will affect employees in the workplace and therefore having support in place is valuable.
Implementing an employee assistance program, counselling service available for any employee in need of support.
Encouraging employees to use the EAP by informing them of the benefits of such support and promoting the confidentiality of the service which is crucial to a successful program.
Encourage men at work to access support. We know from experience that mostly females access counselling, men experience the same difficulties but don’t reach out as much.
Educating managers in managing mental health.
Talking openly about mental health to reduce the stigma around it.
Encouraging managers to use the manager hotline when they are unsure about how to support employees.
WHAT IS THE AIM OF COUNSELLING/SESSIONS THROUGH EAP
- To improve employee functioning inside and outside of work.
- To help employees have better home and family lives as nearly 50% of all the counselling we do is relationship or family/children related difficulties. This in turn will create better functioning communities overall.
- To give employees positive strategies to overcome various challenges that life throws at us.
WHY EMPLOYEES SHOULDN’T BE AFRAID OF TAKING ON COUNSELLING
It’s completely confidential. Employees shouldn’t be afraid to make contact, call our call centre or text us, we are really friendly and helpful, you can even call just to ask us a question or ask how the service works. EAP has 4 ways to connect with Psychologists that can suit the employee and their situation – Phone, Face to face, Text/Chat or Video.
SHARP & CARTER & ACACIA
We are both committed to helping others and together Sharp & Carter and Acacia are committed to ensuring we provide you with the highest quality support no matter what the issue may be.
Acacia donates $2 from every EAP counselling session to support those in need who may not be able to afford support – if you know anyone in need please lodge a wish on our website as caring about others and giving back is very important to us.