OzHelp and Ampcontrol

A case for collaborative mental health and wellbeing services

OzHelp specialises in providing holistic support packages, which complement existing workplace health and safety practices. This may be inclusive of our Workplace Tune Up (WTU) health screening; training and education workshops; counselling support; and referral pathways – dependent on the unique needs of each organisation.

One of OzHelp’s present clients, Ampcontrol – one of Australia’s largest and most successful engineering and manufacturing companies in the resources, infrastructure and energy solutions industries – is a testament to how internal resources can work effectively alongside OzHelp programs. Since mid-2018, OzHelp has been providing flexible, packaged support to Ampcontrol – reaching upward of 1000 employees, across 30 sites. These sites are geographically dispersed and diverse in terms of staff needs – from small communities like Emerald, QLD, regional hubs like Newcastle, NSW, to metropolitan locations like Perth, WA. The people of Ampcontrol work in an industry that can be categorised as ‘high risk’ for safety and wellbeing concerns. Alongside common mental ill-health challenges (family and relationship struggles, financial stressors and mental illnesses), some people in their more remote locations are tackling community-based issues such as drought and lack of access to services.

Ampcontrol represents a growing number of companies who are now on the front foot in terms of addressing mental health and wellbeing issues out of respect and concern for their people. Carolyn Parish, the Health and Wellbeing Specialist who has been working hard to implement OzHelp’s program in combination with Ampcontrol’s own wellbeing initiatives, speaks about the importance of “making work a safe place, with access to support when it’s needed.” Together with professional staff from OzHelp, Carolyn herself will fly or drive in and out of various work sites – ensuring staff engage with training, and also have face-to-face support.

We believe in meaningful conversations and connections. Our people get to see the care and understanding in the eyes of OzHelp Trainers and support staff, says Carolyn

Whether they are delivering training to a group of 10 people in a remote location, or a group of 50 in the city, OzHelp and Ampcontrol are able to work together in a flexible and targeted way, to meet the needs of each group of people. In addition to this, Carolyn speaks highly of OzHelp’s online-based screening and information tools, that allow people to engage flexibly and confidentially ‘in their own time’.

Since its induction, the program has seen 33 health and wellbeing training sessions, 12 supporter workshops and 434 WTU health screenings – engaging up to 80% of current employees. A great indicator of the program’s success is the year-on-year increase in staff peer-to-peer volunteer interest – generating positive informal care networks within the organisation.

“For a person experiencing a tough time, sometimes work is the best place for them to be – it’s where their friends are, and for some, it may be the only place that they can access much-needed support. We aim for all our people to have a safe place to access wellbeing support when they need it.

With the understanding of mental health and the availability of evidence-based supports always growing, we won’t rest on our laurels. Co-design and continual improvement is important. OzHelp has provided us with a model that works both now, and can be adapted as needed into the future,” explains Carolyn.