Why Mental Health Awareness Makes Good Business Sense

What is good mental health? Good mental health doesn’t only mean living without a mental illness, it means living with wellbeing, working productively, enjoying our personal life and managing stress effectively.

We are all exposed to stressors in everyday life. Awareness of how stress affects our mental health enables early detection of changes in our wellbeing, and helps us to bounce back effectively from stress.

One in five Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. There are many different types of mental illness, which vary in severity, including diagnosable conditions such as anxiety and depression. But did you know that the following symptoms may also indicate a mental health problem? Changes to our:

  • Sleep
  • Mood
  • Appetite
  • Concentration
  • Behaviour

The fact is that poor mental health can affect anyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, intelligence, or job title. Mental health problems don’t just stem from issues in your personal life. Work stress (including difficult relationships at work) can also significantly affect wellbeing.

Research shows that up to 30% of employees will experience mental health problems. In fact, most managers will at some stage supervise an employee suffering with a mental health problem. Accessing the right support from family and friends, the workplace and treating professionals plays an important role in recovery. Good mental health awareness in the workplace helps to reduce stigma and makes it more likely someone suffering with a mental health problem will speak up and seek the right support.

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How could better mental health awareness help your business? Through greater mental health support, businesses can reduce stress-related compensation claims and absenteeism. These initiatives can also improve productivity and retention rates. It’s a no-brainer that offering better mental health support in the workplace is of benefit to everyone.

References
Mental Health Commission. June 2014. Supporting good mental health in the workplace. Public Sector Commission (Western Australia).

ANNA CLARKSON

Consultant
anna.clarkson@sentis.net

Anna Clarkson is an experienced clinical psychologist and corporate trainer/consultant. Anna completed her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology 15 years ago at the University of Queensland. She has dedicated her career to improving mental health in the community through direct clinical work, increasing the skills of supporting professionals and building the capacity of organisations to support mental health around the world. More recently, Anna has extended her interest beyond mental health to include physical health and safety, resilience, leadership and operational excellence. Anna is passionate about the application of psychology and neuroscience to assist individuals and organisations to find creative solutions and achieve desired results.


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