Experts in Workplace Learning

7 core problems every organisation must address when managing mental health in the workplace

Written by qualified Psychologist Tess Howells. Tess has worked with Discover Learning Designs to create a series of online courses focusing on Mental Health in the Workplace.

Problem 1: Loss of Productivity

Workers who are stressed, anxious or depressed have difficulty concentrating on tasks, are often sleep-deprived and low in motivation. The impact of depression alone in the Australian workplace leads to:

  • Over 6┬ámillion working days lost each year
  • 3-4┬ádays off work per month for each person suffering depression
  • 12 million days of reduced productivity each year through absenteeism or presenteeism (being present at work, but not functioning well)

Key Insight

Early identification and intervention of problems is important. Managers need to be properly trained to recognise mental health issues and to know what steps to take next.

Problem 2: Lack of Skills to Identify and Manage Mental Health Problems

Many Managers report feeling uncomfortable about talking with employees about mental health issues and are sometimes concerned that:

  • They will offend the employee
  • They will breach confidentiality
  • They will make vulnerable people feel worse

Key Insight

Creating a workplace culture that encourages open discussion of mental illness is an important first step

Problem 3: Loss of Talent; Recruitment & Retraining Costs

Valued employees these days are seeking work life balance. In the current economic climate, organisations need the best human capital to gain the edge on competitors. In addition, customers increasingly prefer to support businesses that show they care about their employees.

Key Insight

Talent loss, retraining and recruitment costs place a significant burden on organisational resources and performance. Providing the right support services for employees experiencing mental health and workplace performance issues is essential.

Click here to see problems 4 to 7

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