beyondblue — the independent, not-for-profit organisation that is on a mission to increase awareness and understanding of anxiety and depression in Australia — has announced the Heads Up initiative in conjunction with Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance aimed at assisting businesses in Australia to make their workplaces more mentally healthy.
According to the media release by beyondblue, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and beyondblue have released a landmark report showing hard return on investment data for workplaces that invest in mental health programs.
The report showed that the cost of poor mental health management to Australian employers was shown to be at least $10.9 billion a year with the average manufacturing business set to receive a return on investment of $3.50 for every $1 invested in effective workplace mental health strategies.
Heads Up is funded by the Department of Health and was launched to immediately address the urgent need for Australian businesses to start treating the mental health of their employees as seriously as they treat physical health and safety.
“Employers who are mindful of their employees’ well-being and introduce supporting policies promote greater worker satisfaction and deliver enormous productivity improvements, making it a truly win-win situation. Too many business leaders, however, still don’t know how to help people who may be struggling with a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety. These people continue to face discrimination and do not receive the same support that people with physical conditions receive. Employers who do not promote good mental health miss out on the benefits that it can bring, but adopting Heads Up can help to change that. Creating mentally healthy workplaces is everyone’s responsibility, but employers need to take the lead,” said beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman.
“One in five Australian manufacturing industry workers (20.5%) have experienced mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety in the past 12 months, but sadly too many workplaces still do not realise the importance of their employees’ mental health. This report shows that employers have a responsibility not only to their workers, but also to their businesses’ profitability, to tackle these conditions at work,” said beyondblue Chairman The Hon Jeff Kennett AC.
Further, an Action Plan will be launched in mid-June on the official website of the Heads Up campaign that will allow businesses to create tailor-made mental health plans to implement in their workplaces to ensure they are progressing towards workplaces that are as mentally healthy as possible.
“Any positive ROI is something business should strive for. This is why I would urge all employers, regardless of what industry you’re in or your business size, to read this report and learn what economic benefits you can gain from investing in mental health,” PwC partner Jeremy Thorpe said.
For more information about the campaign, go to www.headsup.org.au