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04 Dec 2023

Why An Investment In Mental Health Training Is Good For Company Profit and Performance

Why An Investment In Mental Health Training Is Good For Company Profit and Performance

Written by our PR company in conjunction with David Rosetto

It is estimated that 1 in 6 working Australians grapple with a mental health condition at any one time, including anxiety and depression. This costs Australian businesses over $39 billion each year in lost productivity, incapacity and absenteeism, according to the 2020 report by the Productivity Commission Inquiry.

David Rosetto

“Our research shows that some workplace factors may increase the risk of developing mental health issues. Intensive job demands, isolated work, bullying and harassment or a lack of support are all potential psychosocial hazards,” explains David Rosetto, Workplace Engagement Manager, Black Dog Institute, a global leader in mental health research and the only medical research institute in Australia to investigate mental health across the lifespan.

“Businesses have a legal requirement to provide a psychosocially safe workplace by minimising risks to mental health, however, more than just an obligation, creating a mentally healthier workplace makes good business sense. Workplaces that invest in mental health are more productive and have a competitive advantage, attracting and retaining the best talent,” adds David.

He stresses that with the right interventions, workplaces are a powerful environment that can help safeguard the mental health of workers, benefitting both individuals and organisations. “Given that the average employee spends a huge proportion of their day at work, shifting the workplace agenda to prioritise good mental health could have a huge impact on our society”.

What can workplace leaders do, now?

David is clear that while there isn’t a one-size-fits-all mental wellbeing solution for Australia’s workplaces, there are two critical actions that workplace leaders can take to establish the foundations for a mentally healthy workplace:

1.      Implement protective factors at a team and organisational level: “There’s little value in only doing awareness raising or individual resilience-based activities if you’re not putting the policies and processes in place to address the issues from the top down. If you are telling employees that good mental health is a top priority, make sure you have established the structures, assigned accountability and allocated the resources commensurate with that level of priority,” elaborates David. He warns that it’s not enough to, say, sponsor an annual golf day in support of depression awareness; instead, integrate good mental health practices into every level of the business. Continuous review and improvement are integral to this strategy.

2.      Invest in training for managers: Practical skill-based training to improve leaders’ recognition and response to mental ill-health is one of the most influential strategies to improve mental health outcomes for employees. “Our analysis shows that Black Dog Institute’s mental health training for managers generates a return of $10 for every dollar invested through reduced absenteeism and presenteeism,” says David. “Evaluation reports demonstrate improved rates of knowledge and confidence to manage mental health in the workplace, with 75% of managers taking action to prevent or minimise risks to mental health following training.”  

Supporting Australia’s employers on the journey to good mental health

To further its goal of supporting employers in the development of mentally healthy workplaces, the Black Dog Institute is participating in the upcoming Workplace Health and Safety Show. The Black Dog Institute shares our belief that individuals should feel safe and supported at work, in order to thrive. David’s presentation will leave attendees with practical measures they can implement in their own workspaces to boost wellbeing and, in turn, performance, and profit.

Managers and occupational health and safety professionals are encouraged to take advantage of the Show’s free registration, to enjoy a comprehensive two-day education program covering everything from employee mental health, to safety technology and safety at heights. 

Learn more about the Workplace Health and Safety Show

The Workplace Health & Safety Show is Australia's largest free-to-attend exhibition and conference dedicated to health and safety. Packed full of exhibits, live demos, seminars, workshops, networking - and attended by thousands of health and safety professionals - this all-encompassing event provides the knowledge, tools, resources and connections you need to strengthen your safety culture and improve performance and engagement.

Supported by the Australian Institute of Health & Safety, the event attracts thousands of professionals responsible for occupational health and safety and workforce wellbeing at Australia’s largest companies and worksites, including safety, health and environmental buyers and end-users to safety resellers and retailers, senior executives and HSE professionals, people and culture professionals, contractors as well as safety managers and supervisors.

When and where:

  • Wednesday 22 – Thursday 23 May 2024 Melbourne, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
  • Wednesday 23 - Thursday 24 October 2024, Sydney Showground, Olympic Park

Interested professionals can view the Workplace Health and Safety Show program and complete their free registration here.

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