These platforms help make caring for the wellbeing of your people that much easier.
Relative to other countries that saw positive COVID-19 infections pass the 1,000 mark, Australia is in a good place. After a steady decline in recorded daily cases, all states and territories have begun to implement their respective plans to scale back the more strict social distancing requirements.
Barring a large second wave of infections, there’s even talk of office-based employees soon returning to those offices. But it’s at this moment that we have to prepare for the mental health aftershocks of enforced isolation.
Experts will tell you these are likely to be felt only after people have had the chance to come to terms with what they’ve just lived through and the losses they’ve faced – as they emerge from the peak of the crisis. It’s especially a concern for those who might be more vulnerable, such as frontline workers, people who’ve been in quarantine and those who’ve lost their jobs or had their hours cut.
In a report outlining the mental health ramifications of COVID-19, mental health advocacy group Black Dog Institute refers to data collected around the 2009 swine flu pandemic that shows 25 to 33 per cent of the Australian community reacted with high levels of worry and anxiety. Considering the scale and impact of COVID-19 is much higher, we can assume the percentage of mental health concerns will be too.
In its report, Black Dog Institute predicts there will be a spike in people seeking mental health treatment, but notes that due to concerns about in-person interaction, new avenues of support will be necessary. This is where Telstra Health can step in.
Provide virtual care solutions
A lot of organisations have already moved the majority of their workplace functions online, but they need to do the same for their mental health support systems. It can feel like an overwhelming task, but having high-quality, ongoing support available to staff as they need it should be any business’ number one priority right now.
Telstra Health has designed three unique digital health solutions to offer this support to Australian employees as part of our Virtual Clinical Services and Employee Assistance Program.
- Virtual Care Solutions
The thing about mental health concerns is that they can creep up on you at any moment, so employees should have access to 24/7 support in order to avoid issues from snowballing. Our online Virtual Care Solutions service can connect staff with registered healthcare professionals via phone or video chat at any time of the day.
Through this platform, employees can access medical assistance simply and securely, and in accordance with their company’s preferred contact arrangements.
The solution assesses an employee’s needs and then refers them to a healthcare professional for a one-on-one consultation – this is typically achieved within one hour of referral. Following a comprehensive consultation, employees receive a copy of their health summary which advises on any treatments, prescriptions and medical certificates.
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Many organisations already have an EAP in place, but the problem with some of them is that they’re often reactive and limited to remedial treatments only. Telstra Health’s EAP service powered by a partnership with Uprise, a mental health technology platform that uses a proactive approach for employee support. The platform includes a staff wellbeing check tool that creates tailored care plans for each employee. Any employees with low wellbeing scores are contacted within 24 hours by a psychologist. This approach is different to traditional EAP, which expects at-risk employees to reach out for help on their own when often their symptoms make reaching out hard.
Telstra Health’s EAP allows organisations to pick and choose from a range of modules that they can add to their service as needed. Modules include a digital wellbeing check tool, a range of educational digital programs – such as resilience training – video-based therapy and online coaching, and a variety of workshops.
The solution focuses on providing every employee with a toolkit of proven skills for managing their wellbeing. Furthermore, its coach-guided courses help upskill and empower employees to take back control in managing their own stress and anxiety.
- COVID-19 Support Package
It’s always important to have strong wellbeing frameworks in place, but during times like this having specific COVID-19-related materials is a great way to bolster your approach.
We’ve developed a COVID-19 Support Package within the EAP service to help ensure resources and support practices are as relevant to the times as they can be.
The solution offers a range of features to support employees as they try to adapt to the impacts caused by the pandemic. The package includes access to digital mental fitness courses, including specific COVID-19 courses that help employees to manage the stress around their health, job uncertainty, financial stress and working from home. The package also includes remote work support webinars and a comprehensive COVID-19 mental health Q&A service with up-to-date official best practices for workplace mental health during the pandemic.
As staff trickle back into the workplace, it’s important not to forget about those who choose to remain home. Providing virtual mental health care evens the playing field and allows staff to get on top of their mental health concerns, which will allow them to get back to doing their best work as soon as possible.
To find out more about how Telstra Health can support your organisation, click here.