If you have read our previous blogs Primary Advice for Managers and Mental Health Conversations for Managers, you’ll already know the value we place on Wellness Actions Plans as a mental health management tool.  In this blog we explain why.

What is a Wellness Action Plan?

A WAP is a personalised self-management tool that both encourages and enables people to take responsibility for their own mental health.

Ideally is is written by, and therefore owned by the individual, agreed with the manager and then documented and held confidentially.  It it then reviewed (and amended if necessary) during regular management one-to-ones.

Who should have a Wellness Action Plan?

Because the intention behind this tool is one of prevention, as well as encouraging self-responsibility, it makes sense for everyone to have one, regardless of their current mental health status.

It can encourage open dialogue between a manager and their team member, which in itself can help to reduce the potential for mental health related issues. And, of course, if someone does experience compromised mental health in the future, the WAP can enable that conversation for the individual to ask for help or for the manager to offer support.

It can also be a very useful tool to facilitate a successful return to work after a mental health related absence as it provides important information as well as a framework within which to have conversations around workplace adjustments and other support that will aid a successful return for everyone.​

What might a Wellness Action Plan include?

  • Workplace stressors and symptoms to look out for
  • Support they might need from colleagues or managers
  • Action to take if they do experience compromised mental health
  • What enables them to be in positive mental health
  • What the work environment looks like when it is enabling positive mental health for them

It might also include a time to review the WAP and any support in place (reviewing the WAP regularly allows you to support the person if they need to adapt it).

In order to enable a person to create a personalised WAP, it is helpful to encourage them to consider:

  • What thoughts, feelings and/or behaviours they experience and demonstrate when they are thriving at work
  • What enables positive mental wellbeing for them specifically
  • What the work environment looks like when it is enabling positive mental health for them
  • Approaches they have in place already and those that have not worked in the past and why

Sometimes it might be appropriate to encourage the person to seek guidance from a health professional involved in their care, on what they include in their WAP.

If you would like to use our WAP Template to incorporate Wellness Action Plans into your 1-2-1’s, complete the form below and we will send it to you with our compliments.

 

 

Visit the HSE website for current news about mental health.

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