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Make change happen: mental health at work
July 28, 2020

Make change happen: mental health at work

Written by: Marcia Da Silva

Did you know that 45% of Australians will suffer from a mental illness at least once during their lifetime? There are many factors that can play a role in an individuals mental health, stress, trauma, home life, personal factors, career pressures and more. It’s a topic that shouldn’t be avoided, especially in the workplace.

Mental health in a workplace

On average, we spend 90,000 hours at work, that’s ⅓ of our life. Considering that's a significant amount of time, work has a lot of potential to impact one's mental health. It’s why creating a mentally stable workplace should be a top priority for any business.

Beyond Blue conducted a survey that revealed 90% of employees believe that mental health is an important issue but only 50% reported that their workplace is actually mentally healthy.

With current lockdown restrictions, personal pressures and new work from home setups as a result of COVID-19, employers should be considering their staff’s mental health now more than ever.

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to make sure your staff are well supported. If not, it can also dramatically impact their performance at work.

So, how do you create a mentally healthy workplace? Here’s what you can do as an employer:

What you can do as an employer:
  • Educate your HR & wider team on mental health
  • Ensure they understand the need for mental health days
  • Ensure your HR team is well resourced
  • Have your HR team put together a yearly program of events, education and support around mental health
  • Utilise email communications to showcase the resources that are available to your staff
  • Have your senior leadership team support and advocate the messaging around mental health to ensure your staff feel supported at all times.

The ultimate goal is to create an environment your staff feel safe in - a space where they can reach out to their colleagues and supervisors for support if required.

Mental health services

Here are some of the top mental health organisations in Australia that will educate you, as an employer, and your HR team about the importance of mental health.

  1. Beyond Blue
  2. Mental Health Australia
  3. Mind Australia
  4. Lifeline Australia
  5. Headscape

More services can be found here.

Be kind

With everything going on at the moment, now more than ever is it crucial for us to be looking out for our colleagues, employees, friends, family and loved ones.

For tips on how to ensure your staff remain productive in their new work from home environment, check out this how to ensure your staff remain productive.

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