Douglas businesses to benefit from free mental health workshops


Karlie Brady


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Mark Schmitt, Project Manager at Thrive In Work, will host free mental health workshops in the Douglas Shire. Image: Supplied.
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A spotlight will be shone on workplace mental health during free workshops being held in Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation.

Douglas business owners and employees are invited to attend the Mental Health Awareness Program in Port Douglas on Thursday 17 March and in Cape Tribulation on Tuesday 23 March.

Douglas Shire Council and Tourism Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD) are collaborating to deliver the workshops, which are designed to help and support the business sector in response to the psychological challenges of COVID-19.

The workshops will be delivered by workplace mental health professionals, Thrive In Work, and aim to provide valuable tools and tips for cultivating a healthy work environment.

Mark Schmitt, Project Manager at Thrive In Work, will host the workshops and says being mentally healthy means more than ‘toughing it out’.

“Would you know how to help someone with declining mental health? Do you know how to look after your own? Don’t think it will affect you or your team? Think again, one in five Australians have a diagnosable illness and we each have a 43% chance of experiencing poor mental health throughout our lifetime,” he said.

“We have all started hearing more about this issue and it’s time you took it seriously, attending evidence-based workshops that unpack this stigmatised and complex issue is a proven way to increase your understanding.

“These are not therapy sessions or support groups, but informative and applicable workshops designed to increase your knowledge and provide real skills for real life.

“As an employer, you provide meaningful work, suitable remuneration and a safe work environment to your team. But did you know that ‘safe’ includes psychosocial safety? Did you know that one of the most significant reasons behind staff turnover, absences, workplace hostility and lower productivity is poor psychosocial safety?” Mr Schmitt said.

The workshops are free to attend and open to anyone currently working in the Shire. Business owners, managers, and employees are encouraged to attend.

Christopher Northam, General Manager at Pullman in Port Douglas has previously attended one of Mr Schmitt’s workshops and said he highly recommends it.

“It was fantastic, I found it really interesting,” he said.

“You learn practical skills, knowledge, and understanding of mental health issues in the community and workplace, particularly on the back of COVID-19.

“You also get a great understanding of how people feel, how you can help them when they are suffering, help them work through it and work with them to get back to work.”

Mr Northam added that one of the biggest takeaways from the workshop is to treat mental health like you would treat your physical wellbeing.

“We do a first aid training course every year at work so why not mental health?”

“I think it will really change people’s perspective on mental health,” he said.

Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said the sessions would provide tangible tips to creating a healthy workplace.

“Our businesses in Douglas Shire are renowned for their resilience and ability to adapt when challenges arise,” he said.

“We are providing an opportunity for those business owners and workers who may have had a tough time through COVID to sit down with experts and get advice on ensuring a thriving workplace as we start to welcome more visitors to our region.”

Event Details

Port Douglas
Thursday 18 March 2021
9am – 4pm
Sheraton Grand Mirage Port Douglas
Port Douglas Road

Register to attend here.

Cape Tribulation
Tuesday 23 March 2021
9am – 4pm
Whet Restaurant Cape Tribulation

Register to attend here.

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