The Perinatal Workplace Wellbeing Program (PWWP) provides mental health and wellbeing support to new and expectant parents.
The program is the result of a partnership between the teams at Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE) and Transitioning Well and is funded by WorkSafe’s WorkWell Mental Health Improvement Fund.
Two of Australia's leading construction companies - Multiplex and ProBuild - have joined Bunnings and Target as the first organisations to experience and
implement the program, with the initial stages currently underway.
Studies show that one in seven new mothers and one in 10 new dads suffer from postnatal depression, yet 74 percent do not seek help until they hit a crisis point. As such, the mental health and wellbeing of new and expectant parents is often overlooked by employers.
"Perinatal stress and mental health issues impact on all aspects of a person’s life - home, social and work," says Dr Nicole Highet, founder of COPE.
"Working with organisations provides us with an invaluable opportunity to reach and connect with parents, ensure they have access to information and support that they need outside of clinical or healthcare services. It also enables us to work to provide organisations with the tools and resources to support employees at the time they need it."
Dr Sarah Cotton, co-founder of Transitioning Well says, "Through comprehensive workplace training, assessment, and package support, we’ll be able to equip these organisations with the knowledge they need to promote cultural change throughout this significant work-life transition."
Representatives for Multiplex and Probuild say they are looking forward to seeing the results of the project.
"Multiplex is taking the support of working parents very seriously," says Danni Dodgson, head of HR operations Australia at Multiplex.
"We have taken a number of steps towards improving our support in this important area, including our involvement in PWWP. We feel very excited about the difference that this innovative project will have upon not just expectant and new parents within Multiplex, but across the construction industry more broadly."
The sentiment is echoed by Probuild's Group People and Culture Manager, Tanya Cook.
"Construction has an (accurate) reputation for long hours. By understanding the impact of the perinatal transition on our people better, we can enhance our support for them at work and in the community. This initiative will have a positive effect on not only our own culture, but that of the industry’s."
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