Disability General


Workplace Mental Health

The following is an excerpt from this month’s DCA newsletter…

Diversity Council Australia (#DCA) has found that mental health issues are prevalent in the workplace and that stigma is still a major issue, despite many employers actively responding to the problem.

In a survey of more than 100 employers from a range of sectors, DCA found 86% of organisations reported mental health issues were common or very common in the workplace. Nearly three quarters of organisations felt that there was still stigma perceived about mental health issues.

This is despite the fact that 86% of organisations had carried out initiatives to address mental health in their workplace and 77% say mental health is a priority for their business.

Key results of organisations surveyed:

  • 86% said that mental health issues were common or very common in their organisation.
  • 77% said that mental health in the workplace is a priority or high priority for their business.
  • 62% have developed a business case around mental health in their organisation or are in the process of developing one.
  • 74% said stigma is commonly or very commonly attached to mental health issues and 49% of those reporting stigma were undertaking strategies to address it.
  • The top mental health initiative reported was preventing bullying in the workplace (97%) and the second top (91%) was providing access to psychological support services e.g. Employee Assistance Programs. The third most popular initiative was promoting work life balance (91%).
  • The least popular initiatives were improving job design to maximise mental health (25%) and improving employment access to people with mental health issues (30%).

“In any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression, and more than 2 million have anxiety. Untreated mental health conditions cost Australian employers $10.9 billion every year through absenteeism, reduced productivity and compensation claims. Clearly this is not something workplaces can ignore. They must focus not only on building resilience but on actively supporting the range of mental health issues that people may be experiencing at work,” she said.

This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.