The serious impact of mental health issues in the workplace will be addressed in a new strategy says the NSW government.
Addressing business leaders, academics and NGO’s on August 29, 2017 the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean said at any given time, one in six working-age people suffer from a mental illness, the equivalent of more than 800,000 people in NSW.
“People will spend up to one third of their lives at work, which means the workplace is a huge opportunity to help support individual’s mental health.”
According to the government mental health-related absenteeism estimated to cost the NSW economy $1.5 billion annually and addressing this challenge would be critical to improving the state’s productivity.
“Without proper workplace support networks in place, mental health illness can cause greater absenteeism, increased compensation claims, and higher worker turnover,” he said.
“Government bodies and organisations, including the Mental Health Commission of NSW, WayAhead and NSW Health, are already spear-heading some great mental health initiatives across NSW.”
“We want to tap into their knowledge and work together to develop a plan that will for the first time attempt to find solutions to the challenge of mental health in the workplace, and better support NSW businesses to effectively manage it,” said Kean.
Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies said: “This is about putting people, not process, at the centre of the mental health care system, and is a decade-long whole-of-government enhancement of the services we provide in NSW.”
“We know mental illness does not discriminate, and can touch the lives of people anywhere, including the workplace, which is why a key reform focus is to strengthen prevention and early intervention supports.”
This week’s launch was part of SafeWork NSW’s Work Health and Safety Roadmap for NSW 2022, a six-year plan that aims to reduce work-related serious injuries and illnesses, including mental illness by 30%.
Image supplied by Flickr cc: jackidee