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Brain Industries focussed on good mental health

Gillian Summers - Managing Director of materials transfer and safety equipment manufacturer, Brain Industries.

The mental health and well being of staff is a critical issue for businesses and a priority at Brain Industries.

Managing director Gillian Summers will speak on this issue during a panel discussion at Lifeline Hunter’s online 55th anniversary celebration event in March.

Gillian is a former volunteer Board member and former CEO at Lifeline. She applies her mental health sector experience to try and help make Brain a mentally healthy workplace. She said businesses are the people who work there and they can’t always separate their work and personal lives.

“The culture of any business is a living, breathing organism with its own personality. A workplace is a family of bods – different ages, colour, and gender – each going through their own issues. Some are in a happy family and some are not,” Gillian said.

“Like any workplace,  sometimes our people are grieving, have mental health issues, or have substance-abuse issues. They need support in their space.”

Make work “Carrodise”

She said the Carrington based business tries to make work “Carrodise”, its version of paradise – which benefits everyone.

“We start with values – kindness, equality, respect, mateship & fun. Life is too short for power games, hierarchy and stress.”

“We try to be transparent with information and avoid gossip and secrets – to treat everyone the same. If I hear something worrying, I go direct to people involved.”

On Fridays, everyone in the company gets together for a BBQ.

“We talk about everything. Recently some our workers were distressed because a guy some knew from a previous company suicided.

“So we talked about supporting each other. I went through the Lifeline services with them and told them I’ve used the 13 11 14 number personally and found it to be a life-saver.

“You can’t sweep these things under the carpet. It is best to talk and like Lifeline does; listen.”

Everyone Has a Story

Brain Industries is also participating in an initiative by Hunter based businesses Out of the Square Media and Molycop called “Everyone Has a Story“. The campaign aims to break down barriers and reduce the stigma around mental illness. Employees of participating businesses share personal stories with each other and receive guidance to support those facing similar challenges.

“This is such a great initiative because businesses can help each other to tackle common issues. Helping employees to talk to one another is an effective way to help staff and promote good mental health. We need to remind each other that we all have a story.”

If this story causes issues for you you can phone Lifeline (24 hours) on 13 11 14.

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