FEDERATION University health faculty adjunct fellow Lynne Reeder is leading a movement to improve mental health in workplaces across the nation.
Dr Reeder has launched the Mindful Futures Network, which has already attracted more than 350 members, to chart innovations in mindfulness, empathy and compassion can help humanise organisations, their practices and decisions.
The network provides a national space to collect and share information and to foster innovations and initiatives in different workplace settings. Officially launched last week, the network is now calling for practitioners and researchers to contribute.
Dr Reeder said that while there was much to learn about ongoing brain processes and how the mind evaluates our behaviour and actions, it was clear improving levels of self-awareness and emotion regulation was becoming more important.
“In today’s challenging global landscape, working with the old ‘survival’ and new ‘intelligent’ aspects of the brain and emotion regulation systems requires policy developers and decision makers to better integrate and develop new capabilities,” Dr Lynne Reeder said.
“While the vision statements of most governments and businesses articulate values of professionalism, compassion, responsiveness, and empathic leadership, the reality of the lived experience of their employees and clients is often quite different.”
Mindfulness is a way to focus on the present, to concentrate, and to not be judgmental in acknowledging feelings in that moment.
Dr Reeder said mindful practice can improve mental clarity and emotional health; competency of empathy in perspective and connecting with others; and, motivating compassion to understand ‘pain points’ that influence behaviour. She said research indicated improvements in workplace productivity, accuracy and culture.
The network is an initiative of evidence-based think tank Australia21, of which Dr Reeder is director.