Did you know?
- 45% of Australians aged between 16 and 85 will experience a mental illness at some point in their life
- One in five Australian adults will experience a mental illness in any given year
- Research indicates that ‘job stress and other work-related psychosocial hazards are emerging as the leading contributors to the burden of occupational disease and injury’
Counselling in Melbourne can provide the following corporate counselling services:
- Career Assistance
- Executive Coaching
- Mindfulness Workshops
- Psychometric Testing
- Workplace Anxiety
- Workplace Conflict Resolution
- Workplace Depression
- Workplace Manager Assist
- Workplace Redundancy
- Workplace Relationships
- Workplace Team Assessment
Workplace Mental Heath Facts
A worker may develop mental illness prior to employment or during employment. Most workers successfully manage their illness without it impacting on their work.
Some may require workplace support for a short period of time, while a minority will require ongoing workplace strategies.
It is often presumed that a worker’s mental illness develops outside of the workplace. However, an ‘unhealthy’ work environment or a workplace incident can cause considerable stress and exacerbate, or contribute to, the development of mental illness.
How common is mental illness?
- It is estimated that a GP who sees 40 patients a day can expect that between eight and ten (20 – 25%) of these patients will require support or treatment for anxiety or depression
- Mental health problems are the third biggest health problem in Australia, after heart disease and cancer
- Depression is currently the leading cause of non-fatal disability but only three per cent of Australians identify
it as a major health problem
(Source: mental Health First Aid Kit; beyondblue)
Heads Up Australia | Working with a Mental Health Condition
Providing a healthy and safe workplace benefits all workers, including those with a mental illness makes good business sense:
- A total of 3.2 days per worker are lost each year through workplace stress
- Stress-related workers’ compensation claims have doubled in recent years, costing the Australian economy over $10 billion each year
- A survey of over 5000 workers indicated that 25% of workers took time off each year for stress-related reasons
- In relation to psychological injury claims, work pressure accounts for around half of all claims and harassment and bullying for around a quarter of all claims
- Preliminary research shows that Australian businesses lose over $6.5 billion each year by failing to provide early intervention/treatment for employees with mental health conditions.
PwC Mentally Healthy Workplaces Productivity Report | Heads Up Australia
However, despite all the statistical evidence available, with one in five Australians experiencing mental health problems each year, nearly half of all senior managers believe none of their workers will experience a mental health problem at work.
Workplace mental health issues are costing businesses on many levels. Seeking professional help to develop and implement personal employee strategies, to help create a safe, healthy and more productive workplace is a sensible and compassionate approach, and can only benefit business.
(Source: Hilton, Whiteford, Sheridan, Cleary, Chant, Wang, Kessler (2008)
The Prevalence of Psychological Distress in Employees & Associated Occupational Risk Factors
Reasons for developing mental health strategies for the workplace
Because a safe & healthy Workplace is good for business
Creating a safe and healthy workplace makes good business sense by:
- reducing costs associated with worker absence from work and high worker turnover
- achieving greater staff loyalty and a higher return on training investment
- minimising stress levels and improving morale
- avoiding litigation and fines for breaches of health and safety laws
- avoiding the time and cost involved in discrimination claims
- avoiding industrial disputes
Because it improves productivity
Research shows that every dollar spent on identifying, supporting and case-managing workers with mental health issues yields close to a 500% return in improved productivity (through increased work output and reduced sick and other leave). The adoption of broad organisational strategies to support workers with mental illness (for example flexible work arrangements) will also benefit other workers.
Because mental illness can affect anyone
Mental health problems, especially depression and anxiety, are common in the community. While some people have a long-term mental illness, many may have mental illness for a relatively short period of time. Most of us will experience a mental health issue at some time in our lives or be in close contact with someone who has experienced mental illness.
Because its the law
As an employer, you have legal obligations in relation to the management of mental illness in the workplace.
Ensuring health and safety: OHS legislation requires you to ensure your workplace is safe and healthy for all workers and does not cause ill health or aggravate existing conditions. Avoiding discrimination: disability discrimination legislation requires you to ensure your workplace does not discriminate against or harass workers with mental illness. You are also required to make reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of workers with mental illness.
Ensuring privacy: privacy legislation requires you to ensure personal information about a worker’s mental health status is not disclosed without the worker’s consent.
Avoiding adverse actions: you are also required under Commonwealth industrial law to ensure your workplace does not take any adverse action against a worker because of their mental illness.
In turn, all workers (including those with mental illness) are legally obliged to:
- take reasonable care for their own health and safety
- take reasonable care that their acts and omissions do not adversely affect the health or safety of others
- cooperate with any reasonable instructions to ensure workplace health and safety