Online Initiatives Launched to Reduce Workplace Stress
18 December 2012 at 9:07 am
Four online e-learning programs have been launched to help Australian workers deal with stress and tackle depression and anxiety in the workplace, in the lead up to Christmas.
Depression Not for Profit beyondblue has released the free programs which are funded by the Federal Government’s Department of Health and Ageing.
beyondblue chief executive Kate Carnell said that while millions of Australians are looking forward to a break these holidays, no workplace should be so stressful that people can’t wait to get out of there.
Carnell said the programs, which are accessed online via the beyondblue website, offer interactive activities and real-life video stories to help workers recognise symptoms of depression and anxiety, look after their own mental health and that of their colleagues who may be experiencing problems.
“I would encourage managers and workers to check out these three new online programs, which will help them understand when colleagues’ out-of-character or stressed behaviour could be a sign of depression or anxiety,” Carnell said.
“If your workplace is a little quieter in the run-up to Christmas or in January, managers in all types of jobs should encourage staff to spend half an hour looking at these programs.”
Federal Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler said that the programs highlight the rapidly growing demand for mental health education in Australian workplaces.
“The Government is working in partnership with beyondblue to meet this demand and ensure Australian workplaces understand the importance of good mental health,” Butler said.
“These new programs will help achieve that and help many Australian workers who may be experiencing depression or anxiety.”
Carnell said that mental health research shows around one million Australians are currently experiencing depression while a further two million have an anxiety disorder.
“When workers experiencing depression or anxiety get the help they need there are huge knock-on benefits for workplaces as motivation improves, sick days are reduced and productivity grows,” Carnell said.
beyondblue is also encouraging managers and employees to visit a new website www.returntowork.net.au for further information about how to help a person returning to work after experiencing a mental health problem.