Mental health resources
Mental health is an increasingly important workplace issue which is associated with high personal and economic costs. Mental illness is a leading cause of absence and long-term work incapacity in the workplace, with 21% of Australian workers reporting that they have taken time off work in the past 12 months because they felt stressed, anxious, depressed or mentally unhealthy. Almost half of all Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, with one in six workers managing a mental illness at any point in time.
Evidence suggests that workplaces can play an important role in maintaining and promoting the mental health of their workers. The business benefits of supporting mental health in the workplace include reduced absenteeism, improved employee engagement and improved productivity.
Get Healthy at Work does not have a specific mental health component however many of the program’s health focus areas assist in the prevention of mental illness in the workplace.
- Physical activity - There is strong evidence that physical activity assists in the prevention and management of mental illness. This may be particularly effective in improving resilience to workplace stress.
- Healthy eating and healthy weight - Healthy eating and the maintenance of a healthy weight have been shown to play an important role in the prevention of mental illness
- Harmful alcohol consumption - Harmful alcohol consumption is a significant risk factor for the development of mental illness and supporting responsible attitudes towards alcohol is an essential when creating a mentally healthy workplace.
The Mental Health Support Programs for Workers resource provides information on a number of online mental health education and self-management support programs available for workers and may be suitable to promote at your workplace.
There are also a number of mental health resources and support programs available for workplaces:
Mental (psychological) health, just like physical health, is an important part of work health and safety (WHS). Violence, fatigue, bullying, stress, work pressure, a poor work environment or a traumatic event can cause health issues such as psychological injury. It is important to manage risks associated with exposure to hazards arising from any work that could result in physical or psychological harm. SafeWork NSW provides resources and support to assist businesses in managing mental health in the workplace.
Developed by the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance and beyondblue, Heads Up supports businesses to create mentally healthy workplaces. A range of resources, information and advice for workplaces and individuals are available from headsup.org.au. An interactive tool helps you develop an action plan that is tailored to your workplace needs by identifying risk areas and developing goals to create a mentally healthy workplace.
Black Dog Institute provides interactive face-to-face workshops and practical skills-based training for dealing with mental health issues in the workplace. Programs are facilitated by mental health professionals and customised to the needs of your workplace. A wide range of resources and information are available from their website http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/. For more information, see this brochure, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Endorsed by Sane Australia, the Mindful Employer offers resources, workshops (both face-to-face and interactive) and online training modules to help create a positive culture and prevent mental health issues in workplaces. These tools increase the skills and confidence of managers and staff to empower them to address mental health issues at the earliest stages of presentation.
Well@Work is dedicated to improving the mental health of men and women working in male-dominated industries using evidence-based workplace programs. Male-dominated workplaces have higher rates of depression and stigma, and lower rates of help-seeking. The program has been developed in partnership with beyondblue and uses technology to deliver mental health screening and individually-tailored interventions.
Mental Health at Work (MH@Work) aims to improve the wellbeing and productivity of people and workplaces. By partnering with business, MH@Work mentors workplaces to create mentally healthy, resilient and supportive workplaces cultures, through innovative educational programs, tools and services.
Industry specific workplace programs
Mates in Construction NSW focuses on improving the mental health and wellbeing, and reducing the level of suicide, of workers in the construction industry in New South Wales. Mates in Construction offer integrated programs of training and support including a 24/7 help line and case management. Mates in Construction programs are aimed at raising awareness about suicide in the workplace, making it easier to access help, and ensuring that the help offered is appropriate, accessible and professional.
OzHelp provides support, training and wellness services to the building, construction, mining, trades and automotive industries as well as a range of resources for managing mental illness in the workplace. They also provide an OzHelp phone line (1300 OZHELP), along with two phone apps that provide information about the signs of depression, recognising signs of suicidal thoughts and where to go for help for yourself or someone else.
SuperFriend is a national mental health promotion foundation focused on creating mentally healthy workplaces to reduce the incidence of suicide and the impact of mental illness on individuals and organisations, in particular in the Financial Services Industry. SuperFriend provides a suite of resources and practical programs tailored to the needs of the workplace.