IML and beyondblue battle workplace mental health

 WORKPLACE: Beyondblue’s head of engagement Mark Leopold and chief executive David Pich at one of the Leasdership Outlook events. Picture: Supplied

WORKPLACE: Beyondblue’s head of engagement Mark Leopold and chief executive David Pich at one of the Leasdership Outlook events. Picture: Supplied

Improving workplace mental health vastly increases productivity and profitability, according to beyondblue. 

Chief executive Georgie Harman said implementing sound mental health strategies had been proven to show financial dividends. 

“A mentally healthy workforce can increase productivity and is more engaged,” she said. 

“[PricewaterhouseCoopers] research shows businesses will receive an average return of $2.30 for every $1 they invest in effective workplace mental health strategies.”

The large turnout at the Institute of Managers and Leaders recent Leadership Outlook series is evidence of the private sector’s understanding of this, according to institute general manager Margot Smith.

The annual 18-event series, organised in conjunction with beyondblue, focussed in 2018 on improving workplace mental health.

Launceston’s March seminar featured speakers from the institute, beyondblue, Stillwater co-owner Bianca Welsh and Defence Force Recruiting Tasmania’s Breece Gevaux. 

Ms Smith said 1500 people attended the conferences around the country. 

“We wanted to provide a practical approach on a few key areas – promotion, risk management and support mechanisms,” Ms Smith said. 

In wrapping up the event, beyondblue provided a four-step checklist for businesses to improve their mental health support systems. 

The plan stresses the importance of gaining leadership support for mental health initiatives at the first step, before assessing the gaps in mental health support services. 

In steps three and four, companies are urged to create a mental health action plan that is tailored to the companies needs and to monitor the plan. 

“Every business is going to be at a different stage in creating a mentally healthy workplace,” Ms Smith said.

Promoting positive health and wellbeing, fostering an anti-bullying culture, addressing absenteeism and combating mental health stigma are all examples of important actions.

Institute of Managers and Leaders general manager Margot Smith

“Promoting positive health and wellbeing, fostering an anti-bullying culture, addressing absenteeism and combating mental health stigma are all examples of important actions.”

For mental health support, contact Lifeline 13 11 14.