Sector News Stigma Reduction — 29 May 2014

beyondblue has launched an Australian-first national campaign in conjunction with the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance to encourage Australia’s business leaders to take action on mental health.

It comes as a new PwC report reveals that manufacturing businesses will receive an average return of $3.50 for every $1 they invest in effective workplace mental health strategies. This is above the average rate for Australian businesses of a $2.30 return for every $1 invested.

The research, which looked at the impact of employees’ mental health conditions on productivity, participation and compensation claims, also found these conditions cost Australian employers at least $10.9 billion a year.

beyondblue Chairman The Hon Jeff Kennett AC said the report provides a compelling case for businesses to back Heads Up, a campaign to give big and small manufacturing businesses alike practical advice about the importance of mental health in the workplace.bigstock_Thumb_Up_1037090

“One in five Australian manufacturing industry workers (20.5%) has experienced mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety in the past 12 months, but sadly too many workplaces still do not realise the importance of their employees’ mental health,” he said.

Heads Up will target leaders across small, medium and large Australian businesses through major advertising and social media campaigns, and already it has the backing of some major companies.

Funded by the Department of Health, it has been launched as a growing body of evidence points to the urgent need for Australian businesses to start treating the mental health of their employees as seriously as they treat physical health and safety.

beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman said Heads Up would have a long-lasting impact as it delivered benefits for employees and employers alike.

“Employers who are mindful of their employees’ wellbeing and introduce supporting policies promote greater worker satisfaction and deliver enormous productivity improvements, making it a truly win-win situation,” she said.

This article first appeared on ‘Manufacturers Monthly’ on 28 May 2014.


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