This World Mental Health Day, Michelle Baxter Acting Chief Executive Officer of Safe Work Australia encourages all Australians to focus on making a positive difference to mental health by creating a mentally healthy workplace.

Recent analysis by Price Waterhouse Coopers estimates that untreated mental health conditions cost Australian employers nearly $11 billion a year through increased absenteeism, lower productivity and compensation claims.

“The good news is that successful implementation of effective actions at the workplace can make a big difference not only to the health of workers but to the bottom line,” said Ms Baxter

“Price Waterhouse Coopers found that for every dollar spent on implementing appropriate actions to create a mentally healthy workplace, there is on average a positive return of $2.30 to the organisation.

“World Mental Health Day and Safe Work Australia Month provide the perfect opportunity for businesses to address this issue.”

To help organisations address this issue Safe Work Australia has a range of resources available including the:

  • Australian Strategy Virtual Seminar Series video presentations that explore the issue of mental health and productivity:
    • High performing sustainable workplaces and mental health by Dr Chris Stevens, and
    • Leaders: Heads Up on mental health! by Liz Tobin
  • factsheet Preventing Psychological Injury Under Work Health and Safety Laws aimed at persons conducting a business or undertaking and workers to address psychological risks, and
  • factsheet Workers’ Compensation Legislation and Psychological Injury that provides a general overview of the employer’s role under workers’ compensation legislation.

Safe Work Australia is a founding member of the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance which together with beyondblue has developed the Heads Up initiative, designed to help businesses take action across three broad areas:

  • raising awareness and reducing stigma
  • supporting staff with mental health conditions, and
  • reducing risks to mental health and promoting a positive working environment.

To access the Safe Work Australia Virtual Seminar Series presentations or factsheets visit www.swa.gov.au. For more information and resources including the Price Waterhouse Coopers report visit www.headsup.org.au.

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