Reducing harm by increasing personal and team resilience

22 May 2017

An individual’s level of resilience plays a role in their ability to withstand both everyday workplace stressors as well as serious incidents without becoming psychologically harmed.

Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace states that the more unprepared or helpless someone feels in a situation, the more at risk they are of harm.

The risk of harm can be reduced when you have the support of team members, prepare for challenging situations, and develop relevant problem solving skills* – this is where resilience training comes in.

Elysa Roberts, Senior Lecturer with the School of Health Sciences at the University of Newcastle, says that to cope with the stressors of our day-to-day working lives, we now need more resilience than we used to.

“Work used to be seen as a stable environment, but now it’s not as safe (in comfort levels, security or routine),” Roberts explains. “Change is an everyday occurrence, so we all have to be resilient to be able to adapt. It’s a skill people need in order to maintain their employment.”

Workplace training and team-building should include intentional preparation of teams for potential exposure to challenging situations and education on who they can turn to for support. This can be done through simulations of situations such as dealing with angry clients or simply having discussions focused on coping strategies for challenges such as conflict or discrimination*.

SuperFriend’s Mental Health & Wellbeing Training increases resilience, as well as improving team cohesion, self-care, prevention, and capacity and confidence of staff and managers to support positive mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

 

* Great West-Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, Team Building web page.

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