TJMF Foundation: Supporting Mental Health

By 12 January 2015News
TJMF Foundation

At Murdoch Lawyers, we strive to maintain a culture that encourages a healthy work-life balance.

Let’s face it, we all get stressed (particularly at this time of year) and as an employer, we try to help minimise stress placed upon all members of our team.

To assist with this, Murdoch Lawyers has become a signatory to the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation (www.tjmf.org.au).

The TJMF Guidelines provide a framework to help employers promote psychologically healthy workplaces by meeting specific psychosocial factors including:

  • Oganisation culture
  • Psychological and social support
  • Clear leadership and expectations
  • Civility and respect
  • Psychological competencies and requirements
  • Growth and development
  • Recognition and reward
  • Good involvement and influence by staff
  • Workload management
  • Engagement
  • Balance
  • Psychological protection
  • Protection of physical safety

So why did Murdochs choose to join to be part of this? We all know that work can be stressful and demanding. But are we aware of the impact that stress may be having on our employees or colleagues? Unfortunately, for the legal profession, one in three lawyers and one in four barristers are at high risk of suffering a diagnosable mental health illness.

By utilising the TJMF Guidelines, Murdochs have implemented a cultural change in the way the firm thinks, speaks and acts when addressing psychological health and safety. Some changes that have been implemented by Murdochs include:

  • Educating our team to understand what ‘mental illness’ is and the prevalence within the legal profession
  • Ensuring that we continue to provide a work environment that is respectful and considerate of others and provide encouragement and support to our team’s development
  • Training of a Mental Health First Aid officer (this is different to a WHSO)
  • Providing access to information and support to team members if needed including flexible working arrangements.

Murdoch Lawyers believe that it is important for employers and employees to be informed and supportive of people who may be suffering from a mental illness, both in our workplace and community.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental illness, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.

Remember, mental health illnesses do not discriminate but recovery is very possible.