Mindful games for workplace mental health

BUSINESSES are urged to once again raise the ‘red flag’ for workplace mental health, with the second Mind Games aiming to raise funds and awareness for mental health research at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research.

The Mind Games is an action-packed one-day event where 50 businesses across Tasmanian compete in a series of fun challenges aimed at improving workplace mental health.

The Mind Games chief executive officer and founder Sherri Ring said the event would be held in February, with COVID-19 making it more important than ever.

“It’s really timely and I think people need to have fun more than they ever have before,” she said.

Last year, the event raised $70,000 and Ms Ring said this year they were aiming even higher.

“It gets people talking and it also shows people how important it is to work together as a team,” she said.

“It’s definitely an issue that needs to be addressed.”

Professor Angela Martin from the Menzies Institute for Medical Research said the funding would go towards a range of different things relating to mental health research.

“The exciting part is that we have a new PhD candidate Adam Nebbs and he is going to be assisting me in how we can audit across Tasmanian workplaces to see how mentally healthy those workplaces are and what can be done to improve the way that’s dealt with,” she said.

“We spend so much of our lives and incomes at work, so it’s very important.”

Professor Martin said there had been a range of issues during the COVID-19 pandemic that impacted on people’s workplace mental health.

“Whether you’re a large organisation that employs people that have had to work from home and reintegrate, or whether you’re a small business that’s had to close and reduce trading, or if you’re self-employed and haven’t been able to work at all, there’s so many issues,” she said.

“Social isolation is a major risk factor for mental health and the fact that people have been more socially isolated than ever means a lot more research is needed.”

TasNetworks will again act as the gold sponsor for the event, and chief executive officer Lance Balcombe encouraged more businesses to get involved.

“Research that underpins any improvement on mental health is a great opportunity, so we’re very proud to be the gold sponsor of the Mind Games,” Mr Balcombe said.

“Initiatives like the Mind Games and the Menzies Institute that is looking into mental wellbeing and trying to remove the stigma of mental health is really important.”

To register a team, visit www.mindgames.com.au.

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