If you haven't yet encountered it, this first edition of the Architects Mental Wellbeing Toolkit is now available (Australia). This is a modified version of the UK Toolkit, which was developed by members of the Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum in the United Kingdom - a group that John Assael and Ben Channon established in late 2017 with the goal of enhancing mental health across the profession.
This toolkit contains Australian-specific content and resources based on the UK version. It was edited by the ACA, which is now leading the development of an Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum (AMWF) in Australia.
In the architectural profession, mental health and its impact on both individuals and business operations are more crucial than ever. Working in an architecture firm is frequently arduous, stressful, and demanding. Low fees, poor procurement methods, long hours, and the undervaluing of architecture in the broader community are all persistent challenges that can throw a substantial pressure on the workplace culture. Creating an atmosphere that fosters a healthy and dynamic workforce can be challenging, especially in times like today when COVID-related difficulties such as remote work, isolation, and health hazards add to the burdens of companies and employees. (Angelina Pillai, CEO of ACA)
Inside the toolkit
This Toolkit compiles the important issues covered by the forum in order to share some of the insights gained from the practices that were involved in the AMHWF (UK). It was also influenced by a number of other articles and publications in the fast developing field of employee wellbeing. The document has 8 key sections which included;
• Office Culture and Overtime
• Support Systems and Staff Education
• Caring for Students, Interns and Graduates in Practice
• Contracts, Clients and Managing Deadlines
• Physical Office Environment
• Promoting a Healthy Workplace
• Championing an Active Mindful Approach
How to use the toolkit;
• Locate the part relevant to the problem of interest (or simply read from cover to cover!)
• Each section includes a brief introduction to the issue as well as suggestions for both companies and people.
• Use the 'Useful References' offered in each topic - the guide attempts to make it brief and easy to read, but these sites provide much more information on each subject.
Get your copy of the toolkit below!
- Association of Consulting Architects' list of resources for wellbeing
A collection of resources prepared by the ACA's Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum, including podcasts, videos, and other useful resources.
- The Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum
The Architects’ Mental Wellbeing Forum is a U.K. group founded in late 2017 in an attempt to improve mental health within architecture.
- Architects Mental Wellbeing Toolkit (Australia)
The first edition of the Architects Mental Wellbeing Toolkit (Australia) which has been adapted to include content and resources tailored for the Australian profession.
- Black Dog Institute: Workplace wellbeing information
The Black Dog Institute provides a wide range of resources and information to support mentally healthy workplaces and wellbeing.
- Heads Up: Better mental health in the workplace
Heads Up was developed by Beyond Blue to support mentally healthy workplaces.
- Parlour guides to Equitable Practice
Addressed to practices, employees and the wider profession, these guides outline the key issues facing women in architectural workplaces and provide positive, productive strategies and suggestions for change.
- SONA Mental wellbeing of architecture students report
Read the results of a survey conducted by the Student Organised Network for Architecture (SONA) on the mental wellbeing of Australian architecture students. The survey took place in 2020, with results published in 2022.