Mental Health First Aid In Workplaces
According to an Australian Bureau of Statistics study 45% of Australians between the ages of 16-85 will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. It is also estimated that untreated mental health conditions cost Australian workplaces approximately $10.9 billion per year and work related mental stress Workers Compensation claims have doubled in the last few years.
By 2020, the World Health Organisation estimates that depression will be the second leading cause of disability worldwide – that’s less than 3 years away!
A mentally healthy workplace is one that promotes mental health alongside physical health and encourages people to speak up and seek help, and training in Mental Health, including ensuring every workplace has a Mental Health First Aider present, is vital.
The Mental Health Stats that can’t ignore any longer!
- The most recent National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing found that one in five (20%) aged between 16-85 years of age, living in private dwellings, had a common mental illness at some time during the previous 12 months. This equates to 3.2 million people.
- An analysis by Price Waterhouse Coopers finds that for every dollar a business invests in effective mental health initiatives, it receives an average return of $2.30.
- On average, someone with untreated depression will need three to four days of additional sick leave each month.
- Although depression and anxiety can be as debilitating as a serious physical illness, less than half of those experiencing those conditions seek support.
Preventative Mental Health Strategies
The issues of mental illness in the workplace are real and the number of people who are affected is large. Fixing our approach to mental ill health takes more than a couple of hours training, it takes a shift in culture and a willingness from leaders to participate, but we have to start somewhere. For our employees, their families, ourselves, our families and our communities.
Potential outcomes of not addressing mental health in our workplaces:
Increased turnover – change is inevitable, but can also be very expensive for your business. Employee turnover is a large contributor to your company’s bottom line, as it costs time, money and productivity to replace an employee.
Litigation – Mental health is part of an employer’s safety obligations. And because mental ill health is classified as a disability, it’s a requirement under the Anti-Discrimination Act to provide a workplace adjustment if required
Low employee morale – morale is a state of mind that affects confidence, productivity and enthusiasm created within the framework of a company’s structure. High morale is essential to a company’s success, and although it’s generally looked at as an intangible quality, it can have a damaging effect on a business’s profits.
Poor performance – high levels of emotional and psychological exhaustion as a result of workplace anxiety can lead to lack of focus and poor work performance.
Excessive time off – employee absenteeism and sick leave are common business expenses. However, studies have shown that anxiety and depressive disorders are associated with increasing long-term work disability in comparison to other illnesses. It is reported that 1 in 3 absences are a direct result of anxiety and/or stress in the workplace.
As leaders and business owners, it’s important to be informed, know the signs and provide your employees with the encouragement and support they need to manage their mental health. Corporate wellness programs are becoming increasingly popular and are specifically geared towards helping companies improve in all areas listed above.
The Career Development Centre specialise in mental health training and can offer the following to your organisation:
- Accredited Mental Health First Aid Training – 12 hour face to face training in your workplace, either over 2 days or 4 x 3 hour sessions
- Assistance implementing a comprehensive Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy and Mental Health Policy application in your workplace
- Tailored Mentally Healthy Workplace Training – delivered in your workplace to your specifications
- Advanced Communication Training for Leaders and Managers – how to start and maintain conversations with employees and co-workers about their mental health
If you have any questions about our training or our tailored courses, please call our friendly team directly on 07 3355 6688 for a confidential discussion.