New campaign aims to encourage action on workplace mental health
A new initiative, the Mind Your Head campaign, launched late last week, aiming to encourage action on workplace mental health to respond to the increasing rates of mental injuries in the workplace.
Unlike physical hazards, employers often don’t identify workplace mental health hazards such as the impact of isolated work, high job demands and violent events, or put systems and practices in place to address them.
This gap has contributed to what the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) terms “a mental health emergency” in Australia, with workplace mental injuries now the fastest growing type of workplace injury in Australia.
The campaign will be a joint initiative by unions and EML. WorkSafe’s WorkWell Mental Health Improvement Fund is supporting the campaign within Victoria.
It will provide pilot workplaces the resources and tools they need to identify and address workplace mental health hazards before injury occurs.
“Mental health hazards can have a major impact on workers, leaving them unable to work for long periods of time,” ACTU Assistant Secretary Liam O’Brien said.
“This is the fastest growing workplace health and safety issue in Australia and we need to do a lot of work quickly to stem the tide,” he added.
As a first step, employers are encouraged to treat mental health and safety with the same seriousness that we do physical health and safety.
For every $1 invested in good workplace mental health practices, businesses received an average of $2.30 return on investment through lower staff turnover, higher productivity and a decrease in workers’ compensation claims, EML Executive General Manager David Fryar said.
To learn more, please visit the campaign website, here.