17 July 2018
What benefits does CANTAB BrainHealth offer for healthcare professionals, employers and employees?
We caught up with brain health and workplace mental performance consultant, Dr Jenny Brockis, on how tools like CANTAB BrainHealth can be used to promote mental wellbeing at work.
What are the barriers to promoting mental wellbeing in the workplace?
While there is a growing awareness of the need for the creation of mentally fit workplaces, to date these have focused on education around what mental illness is, how to recognise it and what to do if someone asks for help in the workplace.
What has not been sufficiently addressed is the existing reticence in asking for help because of the continuing perception of a lack of trust in the process and the people.
The problem here is that choosing to ignore the problem means symptoms are often more advanced by the time a person does ask for help and may require time away from work and or treatment with medication. Meanwhile the performance and productivity of the affected individual may have been slipping slowly unnoticed or unreported for some time.
Having a cognitive assessment tool that is sensitive to the potential presence of an underlying mood disorder that can impact a person’s emotional state and cognitive performance facilitates starting the conversation around what is happening and what needs to be addressed to restore full health and wellbeing earlier.
How can CANTAB BrainHealth help healthcare professionals promote mental wellbeing?
In my work as a brain health and mental performance consultant being able to offer CANTAB BrainHealth as an online product means I can support more people, especially as my work frequently takes me interstate. Because the instructions are simple to follow and the test can be taken at a time that suits the individual meaning I then have more time available for the post assessment support, which is where the greatest benefit lies.
How can CANTAB BrainHealth benefit employers and their employees?
From the employee’s perspective, what I’ve found helpful when using CANTAB BrainHealth is that the person undertaking the test is frequently curious to know how they are performing cognitively, especially if operating in a high pressure, high stress working environment and find it reassuring to know everything is “normal”. If a result is picked up where a lower than average score is obtained, the debrief process helps the employee to understand what may be contributing to this, what steps they can undertake to improve their performance and to discuss their choice of lifestyle activities that will maintain a healthy brain optimised to work at its best.
For the employer, addressing potential problems with cognition and or mood early, before they impact productivity and performance helps to maintain a healthier and happier workforce. This is not only good for the bottom line, it also promotes a workplace culture of care that has the potential of reducing the human costs of business – low morale, stress leave, sick leave, absenteeism, presenteeism and high staff turnover.
Dr Jenny Brockis is a medical practitioner with over 10 years of experience consulting for high-profile companies to improve the mental wellbeing and cognitive performance of their workforce.