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A focus on mental health

Submitted on Wednesday, 12th September 2018

This week has seen World Suicide Prevention Day and RUOK? Day, reminding us of the importance of focussing on the mental health of not just family, friends and work colleagues, but also ourselves. This is essential both inside and outside of the workplace and the Victorian Chamber can help!

The World Health Organization estimates that over 800,000 people die by suicide each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. In Australia more than 2,800 people die each year with latest figures (2016) telling us that 2,866 Australians took their own life. Recent research tells us that hundreds of Australians are impacted by each suicide death. Research also tells us that some 65,000 people attempt suicide each year and hundreds of thousands of people think of suicide.

This year’s World Suicide Prevention Day theme complemented the efforts of RUOK Day. RUOK day supports each of us taking time to notice what’s going on with the people around us. It is about taking the time to have a conversation with someone you know when you notice something has changed, and it’s also about equipping yourself to help you and others. 

It is important to remember that the workplace plays an important role in our mental health, it can be a place which supports our wellbeing - or can be detrimental to it. A 2105 study by Safe Work Australia found that over 7,500 Australians are psychologically injured at work each year. These injuries account for $480 million in workers’ compensation claims costs and often results in a person taking over 14 weeks off work. Because of this business risk, more and more businesses in Australia are taking the time to raise employee awareness, and to tackle the issues of mental illness through the development of better workplace strategies for early intervention and to develop resilience. These businesses are educating managers and leaders to drive mental health initiatives and to embed mentally health workplace cultures, all of which keeps the, all of which keeps the workforce engaged and thriving.

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry can assist you to develop a mentally healthy place to work. We offer a range of related mental health training programs available including two hour Mental Health Fundamentals series for Executives, Managers or Employees, the accredited Mental Health First Aid course and, specifically to assist with establishing effective processes for managing workplace mental health, the Mental Health Masterclass for HR and WHS Professionals.

We also offer a workplace Mental Health Check to help you understand how mentally healthy your workplace is and assist with strategies to make improvements.

Contact us on 03 8662 5333 or to talk to our experts and discuss how to improve mental health in your workplace.

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