Half Dome awarded Gold Mental Health First Aid Skilled Workplace

By AdNews | 12 August 2021
Half Dome first aiders.

Half Dome today announced that it has become the first independent media agency to receive the Gold Mental Health First Aid Skilled Workplace, with more than 80% of its employees now trained in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA).

Half Dome has committed more than $100,000 in the past 12 months to learning, development and wellbeing, with the goal of incorporating wellbeing into the fabric of the agency.

Mental Health First Aid Australia is a national not-for-profit health promotion charity focused on mental health training and research. To improve the level of mental health literacy of the community, a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training course was developed, which has since been adopted by 25 countries.

Mental Health First Aid Australia offers a tiered skilled workplace award for organisations who demonstrate how MHFA has been implemented into the broader framework and culture of their business.

“Not everyone would be willing to commit so much, which is why we’re proud to be the first independent media agency in Australia to be awarded the Gold certification," says Half Dome Managing Partner, Tom Frazer.

"We know happy people are engaged, motivated, productive and care about others. For this reason, all our people and culture efforts quite simply prioritise the happiness levels of our team.” 

Two years in the making and driven by People and Culture Lead Lisa Lie, Half Dome was required to demonstrate how MHFA is incorporated into both its daily operations and the broader strategy framework of the business.

Lie: “We’ve had an unwavering commitment as a team to be mentally healthy. We believe MHFA is a life skill and one that should be available and understood by everyone; it allows us to use empathy and understanding as a compass. For this reason, our team has incredibly open and connected conversations that increase their overall happiness. It’s for this reason we’ve committed to upskilling everyone at Half Dome in MHFA.”

Every initiative Half Dome has introduced in the past two years has been designed to support the wellbeing and happiness levels of its team, including:

  • Thrive Days (five extra annual leave days to recharge) and dedicated budgets to individually support the team’s physical and mental health
  • Dedicated individual budgets that can be put towards anything to support people’s physical and mental health
  • Flexible working practices that allow people to work to their own productivity rhythm.

MHFA Australia insists on a significant number of initiatives be implemented to become a recognised skilled workplace, which saw Half Dome implement a MHFA Policy, an ongoing commitment to training and a MHFA representative in the office.

“They don’t make it easy but knowing we are working towards the happiness and positive wellbeing of our people and the recognition we have received makes it absolutely worthwhile and something we are committed to long-term,” Frazer says.

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