Paul Cassar, Strategic Manager – Mental Health for Victoria, recently presented on Mental Health Response and Prevention to the Australian Hotels Association in Melbourne.
Paul discussed how understanding organisational factors are crucial in controlling the impacts of work-related stress.
One in five (21%) Australian employees take time off work each year because they feel stressed, anxious, depressed or mentally unwell. Furthermore, nearly one-half (46%) of employees who consider their workplace to be mentally unhealthy take time off because of mental health issues.
Key points of Paul’s presentation include:
- At any given time, one in five (20%) adults in Australia meet the criteria for a diagnoseable mental illness.
- Employee mental health is a real and growing challenge for employers. It’s not a case of ‘if’ employee mental health is impacting on a business, but the extent to which it’s impacting.
- There are ‘visible’ and less visible costs associated with employee mental health issues. Claims that are lodged are often only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in terms of employee mental health issues.
- Understanding organisation factors are crucial in controlling the impacts of work-related stress.
- It’s crucial for employers to develop and introduce a risk management approach to prevent and manage work related stress. Risk management approaches don’t need to be complex and must be underpinned by two essential ingredients, management commitment and structured engagement.
Reflecting about the importance of the presentation, Paul said:
“The journey to creating psychologically safe and health workplace is different for every organisation. It’s important to create customised, practical solutions that directly address your organisation needs in order to make a genuine, measurable impact on the psychological health of your workplace. Making the commitment to start the conversation is the most challenging step!”
Paul also discussed examples of prevention models that Gallagher Bassett (GB) have developed for industry. One such program is the Health and Wellbeing Program for emergency services which is a proactive and preventative program focused on improving and supporting the health and wellbeing of employees.
The program aims to establish early detection and intervention for individuals, increase ‘literacy’ of health and wellbeing, educate and empower participants, and facilitate behavioural change.
The first of its kind will set a new benchmark for health and wellbeing support to emergency services and government bodies alike. The proactive and preventative initiative is designed to support and improve the health and wellbeing of participants now and into the future.
Use myGB Poster Designer to raise awareness about important mental health topics in your workplace.