Study completed by Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicates that, one in five of Australians are experiencing a mental health condition in their lifetime. Furthermore, untreated mental health illnesses costing Australian workplaces around $10.9 billion per year.
- $4.7 billion in absenteeism, employees taken time off work due to feeling mentally unwell in the past 12 months;
- $6.1 billion in presenteeism, employee is at work but is less productive than usual because of illness or injury; and
- $146 million in workers compensation claims.
At the same time mental illness, will significantly impact the employee, their families, work and education. When the leaders shows commitment to mentally healthy workplace and allocate appropriate resources, promotes mental health and empowers employees to seek help, it will benefit the individual, organisation and community.
There are a number of simple actions leaders can take to create a mentally health workplace and support their employees. Here are the five things you can implement within your workplace.
Increase awareness of mental health illnesses
Consult your employees in order to increase their commitment to the mentally healthy workplace. Promoting mental health in your workplace can contribute to increasing the awareness of mental health illnesses. Improving mental health in the workplace is in everybody’s interest. Mentally healthy businesses increase the productivity and positivism in the workforce.
Increase awareness in the roles and responsibilities of mental health within the workplace
Delegate and provide managers and supervisors and employees their roles and responsibilities relating to mental health. Train your management to mental health first aid, mental health awareness in order to increase their knowledge. This help your management team to provide support to the employee, before mental illness escalates, and impacts the employee. Promote mental health within your toolbox, WHS Committee meetings, and involve your staff. Be inclusive.
Reduce Stigma associated with mental health-related illnesses
Speak openly about mental health conditions in the workplace and encourage others to do the same. Train your staff, managers, and supervisors to mental health first aid, because research indicates that workplaces who train their staff for mental health first increased employee knowledge about mental health illnesses and reduced the stigma about mental health illness.
Build the skills and confidence to approach staff who may be experiencing mental health illnesses
It is one of the hardest things, starting a conversation with a staff member who you may be experiencing mental health illness, and encourage staff to look out for each other. Mental health first aid training provides confidence to staff to approach someone who may be experiencing mental health illness and going through difficult times.
Encourage staff with mental health conditions to seek treatment and support early
Modify information about nearby mental health support services and info lines to your organisation’s needs. Provide employees with information about the support services around your area, and employee assistance programs. Early intervention and support, helps the person who is experiencing mental illness, and reduce the likelihood of secondary effects. The longer people delay getting help and support, the more difficult is the recovery.
WHS and Training Compliance, we understand the impacts of mental illness to your employee, their families, their work and your business. We are here to support your business to implement mental health initiative. We provide Mental Health First Aid training Brisbane North, Toowoomba, and Townsville. Our training schedule will assist you with the venues and dates. If you would like us to provide onsite Standard Mental Health First Aid training, we can travel across Australia. Contact our friendly team to assist you.
More information on our Mental Health First Aid Trainer, instructor profile, is available at Mental Health First Aid Australia