Shire Matters with Mark Speakman: Have your say on workplace mental health

I've said it before in this column and I'll say it again: we all need to look out for each other in these challenging times.

While our focus has so often been on our physical health during the pandemic, it's crucial that we continue to care for our mental health. That means checking in on your friends, family and colleagues, and not being afraid to talk about your own struggles in a time of unprecedented upheaval for all of us.

The NSW Government is committed to supporting those whose mental health has been impacted by COVID-19. We've made record investments, including $700 million in the State Wide Mental Health Infrastructure Program, $23 million to expand the capacity of Lifeline and the Kids Helpline and $2.8 million to train 10,000 volunteers to act as 'gatekeepers' in their communities to help prevent suicide.

And to make sure the government is effectively supporting the community, it wants to hear from you about how COVID-19 has impacted your mental health in the workplace. How has your industry been affected? How has your workplace dealt with the increased pressures of the pandemic? And what additional supports do you need when working from home or returning to the office?

This will complement the work already being done on the $45 million Mentally Healthy Workplaces Strategy.

To make it easy as possible for you to contribute, the government has launched a new online community engagement tool where you can provide feedback through a range of easy-to-use methods such as quick polls, an online survey, and a digital ideas board.

To find out more and to provide your input, head to the NSW Government's 'Have Your Say' website at www.nsw.gov.au/have-your-say and search for the 'Mentally Healthy Workplaces'.