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Employers Urged to Think About Mental Health


10 January 2012 at 12:54 pm
Staff Reporter
Employers are being urged to think about how they can better support the mental health of their staff at work, as the costs of failing to act hurt both the individual and the business.


Staff Reporter | 10 January 2012 at 12:54 pm


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Employers Urged to Think About Mental Health
10 January 2012 at 12:54 pm
Flickr image: AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by Simon Aughton 

Employers are being urged to think about how they can better support the mental health of their staff at work, as the costs of failing to act hurt both the individual and the business.  

With one in five Australians affected every year by mental illness, the national mental health charity, SANE Australia, says making supporting mental health a major issue for employers.

Executive Director of SANE Australia, Barbara Hocking, said “We know that a mentally healthy workplace, that has positive and supportive attitudes to mental illness, is most important in finding and keeping a job.”

However Hocking said its of great concern that most Australians with a mental illness receive little support or understanding in the workplace.

“It’s also worrying to find out that many people with a mental illness don’t believe their manager has an understanding of mental illness,” she said.

There is also an overwhelming economic case as to why its good business to have a supportive workplace. Hocking says research suggesting Australians businesses lose up to $6.5 billion every year by failing to respond appropriately when employees experience mental health problems, and an estimated 18 million absentee days annually are attributable to untreated mental health problems.

Respondents to a recent SANE Australia survey of working life and mental illness overwhelmingly recommended (95%) that employers and managers receive education on mental illness, and how to manage its effects in the workplace.    

Mental health issues have recently overtaken physical injury as the cause of the longest absences from work.

SANE Australia produced Mindful Employer,  an initiative to promote better workplace mental health.

The program focuses on mental illness awareness training and the skills to work with, and support, an employee who has or is caring for someone with a mental illness. It provides answers to important questions such as what are the signs of a mental health problem, what to do if you are concerned for a colleague or employee, and how to manage reasonable workplace adjustments.  

To find out more, visit www.mindfulemployer.org



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One comment

  • Anonymous Anonymous says:

    What happens when you receive a mental illness from your supervisor who shows signs of narcissistic and other personality disorders and has done so for many years without any intervention from health authorities who have knowingly let this person be in a position of authority .
    You are harassed, bullied, victimised, intimidated and stalked .
    One would expect that this person not to have been put in this position in the first place and to realistically have received psychiatric/ psychological intervention .
    The annual staff rate of resignations per year is well over 10 !!!
    Having met previous staff who resigned they are quite open about what occurred to them.
    Psychotic person and psychopath were mentioned about this person .
    What this person did to me has destroyed my trust amongst other issues from working with women in authority .

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