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Mental Health Awareness Month

Workplace Health and SafetySeptember 30, 2014

Mental Health Awareness Month (Last Updated On: September 30, 2014)

Tomorrow is the first day of October and the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Month. The initiative is a great opportunity for employers to focus on the health and wellbeing of staff. Did you know that 60% of employees waking hours are spent at work? If staff are unhappy or spend a significant amount of time in an environment which is mentally draining it is likely to trigger depression and or stress. As a result staff will take time off and will be less effective whilst at work. Unhappy employees impact on the productivity of the business in more ways than one, let’s use this month to implement positive ways to ensure employees worry less and be happy.

Mental health and absenteeism go hand in hand. Absenteeism, due to mental health, results in 12 million days of productivity lost each year. Unhealthy workers with mental health issues are typically only contributing 49 effective hours of work a month as opposed to healthy workers who contribute approximately 143. The substantial impact can be minimised by creating a work-life change.

For most individuals, significantly more time is spent at work as opposed to home, this means that employers need to focus on providing a workplace that is conducive to staff well-being. Education is key in turning around the effects of mental illness. We know that people with a better mental state and a healthy outlook are more productive at work, so promoting education programs, training and health awareness in the workplace is a great way to establish a supportive environment.

Businesses can partake in mental awareness activities such as R U OK DAY, Mental Health Week (5-12th Oct) and Mental Awareness Month. Being able to acknowledge mental illness and discuss it with employees is beneficial. If a business is able to provide employees with support to overcome tough times by encouraging sick leave or personal days, long term benefits will result.

Mental Awareness Month is a great time to begin changes in work-life balance. If you would like to implement policies or initiate a mental illness conversation with staff, but you don’t know where to begin, give Employsure a call on 1300 651 415. Employsure can help you discuss issues with staff and provide opportunities for your staff to seek help from within the workplace.

*Information sourced via Sydney Morning Herald website and the Australian Gov. Mental Health Commission.

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