A Word from our Founder
The Big Idea
For many years I worked in the mental health, disabilities, and children’s services sectors. I then transitioned into senior leadership positions in government and not-for-profit. In my time in executive leadership roles I was constantly dismayed at the standard of mental health services offered to business.
I knew there had to be a better way and so I founded MindWorks Australia to answer this riddle. In speaking with employees across Australia, I discovered three key barriers that stop people from seeking support:
- They rarely know that their employer offers mental health support services.
- They typically don’t understand how it works, or why they should use it.
- They almost always fear that what they say to a therapist will get back to their employer, and putting their job, or chance of promotion, at risk.
The question I wanted to put to the test was this: If we could remove these barriers, would employee's seek support more often?
The Power of Prevention
To begin with, I assembled a small team of trusted counsellors and registered psychologists who were empathetic and down-to-earth. We made ourselves visible with a boots-on-the-ground approach with walk-and-talks and periodic drop-ins to chat with staff. Immediately, staff started coming forward to ask for assistance and our EAP utilisation rates rose to triple the industry average within the first six-months. At that point I knew we were onto something.
However, our next realisation was that staff were only coming to us when they were in crisis. If we could educate staff to identify their symptoms when they’re mild and seek support earlier, we knew we would be able to help them so much more effectively.
Education = Empowerment
The solution was clear; we needed to remove the stigma around mental health and drive a culture of proactive mental wellbeing at all levels of the organisation. To achieve this, I searched for the best educators and trainers in the industry; individuals who were not just smart and passionate, but had exceptional life experiences and excelled at distilling down complex scientific knowledge into engaging workshops and presentations. Initially, it took a long time to find the right people, but once the word got out about what we were doing, my phone started ringing.
We began with stress management workshops and resilience building, but with each new client, we encountered new challenges in their workforce. Some industries face grief and trauma on a daily basis, some must adapt to rapid change, and others find it difficult to innovate. While the challenges may vary, they all rely on one key factor - human behaviour - and understanding human behaviour and how to change it, is what we excel at, including knowing the point at which we need to “refer on” in circumstances where a more clinical intervention is required.
While we are proud of our industry leading EAP utilisation rates, the true value we bring to business goes beyond this. We are driving personal productivity to new heights by empowering their people with the knowledge and skills they need to be the masters of their own wellbeing.
MindWorks Australia has already redefined what mental wellbeing looks like for business; and this is just the beginning.
- Adam Carrozza. Managing Director
Founded MindWorks Australia in 2015.
Adam has over 20 years of working in community services sector including disability, aged care, mental health, children’s services, corrections and behavioural intervention as well as family therapy and critical incident stress debriefing (CISD).
Adam was certified in the practice of Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) in the mid 1990’s and has been involved in many situations where he provided first response debriefing and support.
Adam has developed a multi-disciplinary team made up of Family Therapists Counsellors, Mindfulness Experts, Pastoral Carers and Registered Psychologists.