World Mental Health Day has begun and Employsure’s Talent Consultant Nicola Scott says it presents great chance to remind employers of the importance of managing mental health in the workplace.
Most employers, will at some point have a member of their workforce with a mental health issue. Around one person in five (20%) had experienced a mental health condition in any given year and over twice that number (45%, or nearly half the Australian population) had experienced one at some time in their lives according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics1.
“Considering full-time employees in Australia spend 38 hours per-week at work, it is important to know the best way to handle mental health within your workplace” Nicola says.
“Investing in a safe and healthy working environment makes good business sense for employers to succeed.”
Whilst everyday pressures can affect mental health and wellbeing, Nicola suggests employers should take all possible steps to control the factors within the workplace which can affect the health of employees. Simple steps to do so include promoting a positive, supportive working environment, and a culture of openness, where employees can access appropriate support.
It’s widely accepted when employee health and wellbeing is managed well, creativity and innovation increases: “We know that employees with a better mental state and healthier outlook are much more likely to be productive and engaged at work.” For that reason, “investing in workplace wellbeing is truly invaluable and can deliver substantial direct and indirect returns to organisational outcomes” adds Nicola.
Nicola says every employer should take appropriate steps to minimise health and safety risks, including mental health, within the workplace: “Encouraging mental health educational programs, training and health awareness in the workplace is a great way to ensure a supportive work environment.”
Nicola also suggests encouraging better work methods, including regular use of leave entitlements, flexible working arrangements, and monitoring employees’ workloads to reduce stress and ensure a happy and productive workforce.
“Ultimately, a business that promotes health and wellbeing isn’t just meeting their obligations under law, it is the smart thing to do as investing in their people will have a positive effect on their bottom line.”
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Notes to Editor.