Report identifies key factors to creating mentally healthy workplaces


Photo: Concord90, Pixabay

A new report sponsored by Comcare identified the top 10 factors that are key to creating mentally healthy workplaces in the Australian Public Service.

The report provides guidance to inform better practice for business areas, human resources, and organizational change and culture units.

“At any given time it is estimated that one-sixth of the working age population of Australia suffers from symptoms associated with mental illness (typically depression and anxiety), and a further one-sixth suffer symptoms associated with mental ill health such as worry, sleep problems and fatigue (Harvey, et al., 2014),” the report states.

“These symptoms disrupt an individual’s ability to function holistically, negatively affect their ability to manage relationships and maintain productive work capability, and result in significant costs to individuals, businesses, the economy, and society as a whole.”

The top ten factors are:

  • Workplace culture
  • Organisational commitment
  • Job design
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Management training
  • Leadership – commitment and style
  • Workers’ recovery from mental illness supported
  • Prevention interventions
  • Facilitation of personal resilience
  • Workplace response to external factors, such as family life and work/life conflicts

“Mental health is the leading cause of sickness and long-term work incapacity in the workplace. It takes a significant toll on employees and their families, and costs Australian businesses an estimated $11-12 billion every year,” Comcare said in a news release.

A work-based project team from the Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) worked on the report.

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