Mentally healthy workplaces vital to economy

The Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA) has today called on businesses across the country to make mental health and wellbeing a priority for staff and management.

The call comes in response to new research released as part of the Heads Up campaign, being run by beyondblue and the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance that highlights that millions of Australians believe their workplace is not mentally healthy, fuelling high numbers of sick days.

“Australians spend a huge portion of their lives at work, so it’s very important to place a spotlight on mental health in the workplace,” said MHCA CEO Frank Quinlan.

“This important research shows that too many workers risk developing conditions like depression and anxiety from job stress. Unchecked, the impact on our community and our economy could be major.

“This is especially true when it comes to ending the stigma associated with mental illness, by encouraging staff and managers to become more aware of mental health issues, and speak up at work, we can make a positive change. However unchecked stigma relating to mental illness can do immeasurable damage.

“On the positive side, a mentally healthy workplace benefits not just the individual, but the whole business. Higher levels of happiness and wellbeing can provide higher levels of productivity, participation and output. Focus on this area can be very good for the bottom line.”

The findings are contained in new research that shows nine out of 10 Australian employees think a mentally healthy workplace is important. However, half of the respondents say that they don’t work in one, with these workers three times more likely to take sick days due to mental health problems compared to other workers. 

“The MHCA is very supportive of the work the Heads Up campaign is doing to bring mental health to the forefront of our conversation around workplace health.”

The MHCA is the peak non-government body representing the mental health sector in Australia. Our vision is for Australia to have the best mental health system in the world.

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