Research shows that 45% of Australians experience mental illness at some stage during their lives. Issues relating to mental health and the workplace are costing Australian businesses more that $10.9 billion per year. $4.7 billion of this figure is lost in absenteeism, $6.1 billion is presenteeism, from longer hours at work than required, and business are losing $146million in compensation claims.
This is why the mental health of your employees is as important as their physical health, and by ensuring you have a mentally healthy workplace will directly impact your bottom line.
In addition to well written company policies and procedures that act to support those with mental health issues and prohibit discriminatory behaviour, there are a number of things an employer can do to build a mentally healthy workplace.
Following are just some ideas:-
Mental Health Plan (MHP)
Create an MHP to outline your business’ mental health strategy, the training you will provide and the support networks available to your staff.
Mental Health Policy
Create and implement a mental health policy that specifically details the business stance on mental health. Ensure that the policy is well understood from manager to employees.
Educate your Managers
Regularly review your company policies and procedures with your managers and ensure they are aware of not only their legal obligations but also the consequences for any breaches.
Mental Health Audit/Risk Assessment
Undertake a mental health audit and risk assessment to better understand the current state of mental health in your business and to see where risks can be reduced.
Implement a survey to understand if the mental health measures implemented are working or require further improvement.
Ultimately, investing in mental health ensures a workforce who feel supported, resulting in more positive and productive outcomes. A mentally healthy workplace can also result in in greater attraction and retention of staff.
For assistance with dealing with any concerns relating to mental health please contact us at [email protected] or 1300 720 004.
Information in HR Advice Online guides and blog posts is meant purely for educational discussion of human resources issues. It contains only general information about human resources matters and due to factors such as government legislation changes, may not be up-to-date at the time of reading. It is not legal advice and should not be treated as such.