Mental health costing employers billions

UNTREATED mental health conditions cost Australian workplaces – including the nation’s coal mines – roughly $10.9 billion per year, comprising of $4.7 billion in absenteeism, $6.1 billion in presenteeism and $145 million in compensation claims.

Lou Caruana

The workplace has been identified as a relevant and appropriate setting to promote and support health and mental health of Australians.

While creating a mentally healthy workplace is everyone’s responsibility, mental health is a leadership issue, and change must start at the top, according to Beyondblue spokesman Nick Arvanitis.

“Mentally healthy workplaces are as important to Australian employees as physically safe workplaces, however workplaces are not meeting their expectations,” he said.

“Three quarters (75%) of Australian employees expect mental health support in the workplace environment, but many may not be aware of, or are unable to access appropriate resources.”

AccessEAP and Beyondblue will be speaking at a series of free seminars at Safety in Action from September 6-8 at Sydney Showground, expanding on how to create mentally and physically healthy workplaces and why workplace wellness is good for a business’s bottom line.

They will be joined by safety experts who will share new research, discuss regulatory compliance issues and expand on technological innovations.

Also co-located at Safety in Action will be the Safety Institute of Australia’s National Convention, a two day conference featuring global and Australian safety leaders who will address the theme of “Disruptive Safety”.

The convention program will include presentations from Bernard Salt and challenge leaders to change their thinking about safety.

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