WORKPLACE WELLBEING #2: Workplace mental illness – it’s treatable! 5 tips for 2020
As we kick off the new 2020 year, let’s seize the opportunity to consider what we can do to keep improving our workplaces – it’s good for business and good for our people.
A priority must be the treatment and prevention of mental illness. Why? Because our people are worth it.
Research by The Black Dog Institute (BDI) reveals that meaningful employment is integral to recovery from mental illness. The BDI has found the majority of mental illness in the workforce is treatable and possibly even preventable.
Here’s our opportunity for 2020. To look ahead with a focus on our people to ensure the best opportunity for workplace wellbeing and good mental health.
Would you believe, one in six Australian workers – right now – is suffering a mental illness?
The initial signs of mental illness include insomnia, worry and fatigue. Take a moment yourself and consider how you’re travelling.
Depression and anxiety are now the leading cause of long-term sickness absence in the developed world. In Australia alone, poor mental health at work is estimated to cost the economy over $12billion each year, including over $200million worth of workers compensation claims.
While the dollar values are striking, there is a significant human cost as well. The BDI has found that meaningful employment is integral to recovery from mental illness, yet there is a tendency for these individuals to be marginalised from the workforce.
So, let’s look ahead to 2020. By addressing mental health in the workplace we can increase employee engagement and productivity. More importantly, for each individual it will mean a healthy, balanced life and psychological wellbeing.
Practical strategies to increase workplace wellbeing
Below are 5 interventions, identified by BDI research, that are effective in reducing significant mental illness in the workplace:
- Giving employees more control of their time and place – implementation of multi-level working committees and greater employee input into work hours and location
- Consider workplace health promotion strategies that include both physical activity incentives and mental health awareness and education.
- Implement resilience training for high risk occupations – especially where your people are exposed to significant levels of trauma or stress (eg. emergency services)
- In-house workplace counselling may be of benefit, as is the provision of formal return to work programs.
- Provision of peer support schemes or other ways to ensure staff are able to seek help early if needed.
*Acknowledgement: The Black Dog Institute: www.blackdoginstitute.org.au
From all of us at Citrus Group, wishing you happiness and health, throughout the Christmas season and for the 2020 New Year.