Highlighting The Importance of Mental Health In The Workplace

At Improve Group, we are all about providing Workplace Health and Safety training to help reduce the risk of physical injury in the workplace. But what about mental health?

In light of Queensland Mental Health Week this 8th – 14th October, we have taken some time out to consider the effects of issues such as: stress, overwork, lack of job security, and conflict; in the workplace. Mental health at work can often only be considered to affect those in high-stress occupations such as emergency services personnel, prison officers, psychologists and social workers, etc., however this is definitely not the case. Whilst these roles are among the highest for compensation claims, mental health issues can affect workers in any industry.

As a health and safety professional conducting a workplace audit, hazard identification is often the initial step. But how often are psychological hazards brought into the equation? Unfortunately, the answer is: not as often as they should be. Each year, a total of $480 million is paid in compensation for work-related mental disorders.* That’s an alarming statistic in itself, but we also need to consider how many of those affected never even put in a claim to contribute to this figure.

So how can we reduce the impact of negative work-related issues on the mental health of ourselves and our employees? Perhaps by:

  • conducting a workplace audit of potentially psychologically hazardous situations;
  • ensuring workers have access to policies and procedures regarding workplace mental health management;
  • offering company-subsidised support services for those suffering from work-related mental illnesses; and/or
  • ensuring open communication with workers and eradicating any stigma around acknowledging mental health issues.

Whilst most of our courses and qualifications focus on the physical safety of workers in the workplace, our Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinator (RRTWC) training also incorporates aspects of mental health. When returning to work from injury, it is important for employers and RRTWC professionals to consider the psychological impacts that the injury may have had on the employee.

Contact us for more information on how to support your staff through their transition back to work.