A strategy for workplace mental health

According to a survey of more than 2000 NSW businesses, less than one in 10 employers had an integrated approach to mental health.

Using a benchmarking tool, it was found that about one in five employers had a basic awareness of mental health issues but thought it was ultimately an individual’s responsibility.

The scientific, professional and technical sectors were the worst performing industries.

It is estimated that the cost of mental health issues to NSW employers is about $2.8 million a year. Research also suggests that businesses that invest in workplace mental health programs could reap more than $4 for every $1 invested as a result of improvements to productivity and reductions in absenteeism.

Mental illness is now the leading cause of long-term sickness among Australian workers, overtaking back pain as the most common cause of work incapacity.

Our six-year work health and safety roadmap includes a commitment to reduce serious injuries and illnesses by 30 per cent by 2022, with a focus on serious mental health disorders.

A Mentally Healthy Strategy of NSW incorporating initiatives designed to raise awareness and improve business capability to prevent and manage poor mental health in the workplace will be developed in consultation with stakeholders, along with
a range of compliance and enforcement measures.

In this short video, Sam Harvey, Associate Professor at the University of NSW and Professor Nick Glozier from the University of Sydney share their thoughts on the importance of creating a mentally healthy workplace.

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