Mental health challenges can affect anyone in the community and developing the knowledge, skills and confidence to support a friend, family member or co-worker experiencing a mental health challenge, is invaluable. Education and training in the area of Workplace Mental Health can reduce stigma and increase capacity.
I recently had the opportunity to meet and talk about all things mental health with the wonderful human that is Kate Meadows, the director behind ‘Be More Mindful’ – a Workplace Mental Health Consulting business, to help workplaces become more mentally aware, and deliver Workplace wellbeing training.
Tailoring and deliver ‘Workplace Wellbeing’ training to a variety of businesses and organisations Australia wide, Kate works as a contract consultant for a variety of lead training organisation in the area of Workplace Mental Health. Her empathetic and friendly facilitation style makes her a highly sort after facilitator in this field. I had the pleasure of meeting Kate when I was at Highschool – she was the school wellbeing teacher – and she honestly changed my life, so I sat down with Kate again to discuss the ins and out of ‘Be More Mindful’.
What exactly is your business ‘Be More Mindful’?
‘Be More Mindful’ is a Geelong-based Workplace Mental Health training business. As a local Geelong based consultant, I spend my time tailoring training to workplaces to support them to become a ‘mentally healthy workplace’. A ‘Mentally Healthy Workplace’ has three key elements. They promote mental health awareness and wellness, protect employees from harm in the area of physical and psychological safety, and respond to any issues that arise to support workers that may be unwell.
By delivering awareness programs, training sessions and even accredited certificates in the area of mental health, a workplace can benefit not only in the increased capacity of its workers but also financially on the return of investment in this area. Early intervention in the area of mental health support is like a Golden Ticket!
What made you decide to start something like this up?
I have always had a passion for supporting others. I have always had genuine and supportive relationships with my family, friends and work colleagues. I spent many years as a high school teacher in the area of Health Education and then re-trained to become a Wellbeing Co-ordinator, implementing early intervention programs and counselling students for the most appropriate crisis mental health referral. These years of my life were very rewarding, fulfilling but also extremely emotional.
I realised I had developed so much knowledge in the area of supporting others in the area of mental health awareness and I was keen to pass this on through training sessions, to enable others to also support their family, friends, and colleagues. The world of ‘Workplace Mental Health Training’ combines my love of teaching with my passion and knowledge of mental health. I have found my happy place!
What type of courses do you offer?
‘Be More Mindful’ offer training courses on a variety of lengths and topics. The courses included accredited Mental Health First Aid certificates (authored and endorsed my Mental Health First Aid Australia). These courses are either 2 full days of training or short sessions on Suicide awareness. We also offer tailored sessions that cover topics such as developing individual employee self – care plans, psychological safety awareness and the importance of having supportive conversations. These topics combined are all touching on aspects of developing a Mentally Healthy Workplace. The most important thing any workplace can realise is that the most important assets in their workplace are their people. Recognising and supporting the ‘human element’ to any workplace is what BMM is all about.
Struggles with mental health are finally becoming more aware in our society, is there anything you think people need to be more aware of when it comes to mental health?
Mental Health awareness and support is finally getting the recognition it deserves in our community. It is important for everyone to understand that life will always have its challenges, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ these times will happen for us all. It is common to have challenges in our thought’s feelings and emotions. If these challenges lead to changes in behaviour and start to impact our daily functioning it is important to access appropriate professionals (GP or Psychologist) to get some support. We would not hesitate to acknowledge we need help for our physical health, so we need to do the same for mental health. Supporting our family, friends and colleagues to access services when needed is an important aspect of our overall wellness.
What is your go-to when you need a little pick me up?
I am very lucky to have a supportive and loving family. I could never have set up and worked so hard on developing my successful small business without the support of my hubby Darren, he is my rock! I spend many hours encouraging my two teenage boys, Tom and Charlie, in their passions and pursuits. I also have a close group of friends who make me feel very loved and know how passionate I am about the work I am currently doing.
Planning holidays, quality time with family and friends and having a laugh with others is what really picks me up. Especially the holiday planning bit!!!
Information about courses can be found on the website www.bemoremindful.com.au or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Chloe Cicero