Mental Health And Your Workplace

April 11, 2018


The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines Mental Health as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.


The positive dimension of mental health is stressed in WHO's definition of health as contained in its constitution: "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”


“So what’s bad mental health?”


In short, 'bad' mental health or better referred to as mental health issues and illnesses are the complete opposite. In Australia, 45% of people will experience a mental health issue at some point during their life. Mental health illnesses can include depression and anxiety. 


Mental Health and Workplace Link


It’s estimated that, at any point in time, 1 in 6 working Australians will have a mental illness, with many suffering alone in silence. 


The majority of mental health issues seen in Australian workplaces are often treatable and in most cases usually preventable. These are some of the most common workplace factors that result in adverse mental health:

  • Lack of work

  • Tight deadlines

  • Bullying

  • Conflict at work

  • Job insecurity, redundancy or job loss

  • Lack of support

  • Poor work-life balance

  • Unclear work role


Heads Up describes a mentally healthy workplace as “one in which risk factors are acknowledged and appropriate action taken to minimise their potential negative impact on an individual’s mental health. At the same time protective or resilience factors are fostered and maximised. Mental health in the workplace is multifaceted and each workplace will have different risk and protective factors for mental health.”


As an employer, you can play a significant role in maintaining the health and well-being of all your workers as well assist in recovery from existing mental health issues. Research shows that productive work is beneficial to an individual's overall health and wellbeing. Working provides a sense of purpose, acceptance and opportunities for development.


So, what does it mean for my business?


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