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DFAT develops a mental health policy for staff

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has developed a mental health policy for its staff. A first for the Department, the policy was drafted in consultation with beyondblue and a reference group comprised of staff from across DFAT.

The goal of the policy is to promote a mentally healthy and inclusive workplace and to create a psychologically safe work environment.

Led by Andrew Byrne, First Assistant Secretary and DFAT’s first mental health champion, the Department is developing action plans and strategies to bring the policy to life.

DFAT recognises that its people do difficult work, from dealing with crises and personal tragedies through consular and humanitarian work, to the demands of trade negotiations and diplomacy.

The focus of the policy is on empowering staff to feel comfortable having a conversation about mental health and to develop a culture where diversity is embraced and the staff feel supported.

DFAT’s mental health policy will accompany a number of workplace diversity initiatives at the Department including the Disability Action Strategy, Reconciliation Action Plan and the Agency Multicultural Plan