Mentally Healthy Workplaces Needed in Australia

 10th May 2016

Stress at work is a common problem for many people and even considered a normal part of the working day for some.

Long working days, overtime and tight deadlines can make it difficult to relax in the workplace and can even cause stress and anxiety outside of work hours.

In some serious cases, depression caused from occurrences in the workplace can even lead to suicide.

In Australia, it is estimated that lost productivity caused from mental health issues costs the country a massive $11 billion (AUD) every year.

Furthermore, in the same country, around 20% of the population is affected by some form of mental health problem at any one time.

The problem of overworking in Australia as well as an addiction to work is believed to be one of the biggest factors, on top of conventional issues such as high pressure environments, long hours and diminishing job security.

Crosbie Lorimer is a Director of a Landscape Architect company in Australia and has experienced depression and anxiety in his own personal life when his father and sister committed suicide.

This, along with his own personal struggles has motivated him to create a healthier, person-centred workplace in order to protect the wellbeing of all members of staff who work there.

His advice to companies looking to pursue a similar direction to his business is to create an environment with a “culture of openness” whereby employees can be entirely honest with all members of the business.

This is a stark contrast to many organisations in the country where employees can be apprehensive to declare any mental health issues they may be suffering through fear of being fired. 

In addition, Crosbie also advocates creating a structure with transparency where employees are able to clearly understand their roles and the objectives of the business, as well as simply enjoying the work they do.

This disturbing issue has led to organisations in Australia, including the government, health sector and a large number of corporations to establish a campaign to promote the development of mentally healthy workplaces.

The government has announced its acknowledgement of the issue with plans to transform support services available in the country for people suffering for people suffering from mental health illnesses.

This news comes as a testament to the ever-present issue of mental health problems not only in Australia, but in countries across the world.

In addition, the fear of disclosure for those suffering in the work place is a clear sign of how high pressured environments and intolerant management are detrimental and empowering the stigma associated with mental health.

On a daily basis, Encompass work to improve the lives of people living with enduring mental health conditions and learning disabilities by providing services such as respite care, supported living and registered residential care.

To find out how our Support Workers can help you or a loved one, click here.

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