Close to 20 per cent of Australians suffer or have suffered mental illness severe enough to affect everyday activities.
We all know someone who struggles with mental health problems, and none of us are fully immune from the pressures of life’s upheavals, so encouraging good mental health in the workplace will benefit everyone.
Now is the right time to focus on mental health initiatives for developing inclusive and understanding workplaces.
Equality is essential for worker satisfaction, while health and safety legislation is strongly enforced in Australia, making mental health training courses an important step in developing a capable and caring workforce.
The financial ramifications of lost productivity due to mental illness are enormous, including huge amounts of money allocated annually in Australia for disability claims, services and initiatives.
Workers don’t usually advertise their shortcomings, including mental health battles, and less severe symptoms are prone to be overlooked by others, but there are heaps of strategies for promoting a positive workspace and keeping people safe.
Mental health first aid training is a smart first step, and here are a few advantages of having trained mental health first aid staff on your team.
Reducing stigma: Mental health can be a tricky topic to discuss for some people. No one wants to appear abnormal or unsuited to their surroundings, and awareness of the difficulties surrounding mental health issues will help your staff create a more welcoming and accessible workplace.
Early intervention and prevention: Most Australian adults spend more than half their waking hours at work, and there is bound to be stress and anxiety from time to time. Stress and mental health triggers can include the workload, deadlines, work relationships, management styles, job security concerns, home/work balance and more. Mental health first aid training will help you address stress issues before they escalate or become debilitating.
Providing treatment pathways: With trained first aiders and resources in place, you can get help to people quickly. Treatment pathways can include counselling, medicines, flexible work hours, work from home options or a combination of several beneficial strategies for improved work capacity and optimal job satisfaction.
Improving productivity: With physical and emotional wellbeing comes better all-round health, happiness and ability. Improved mental health makes a person more resilient under stress and able to remain focused, think clearly and make sound decisions.
Reducing business costs: An investment in mental health first aid training will reduce absenteeism and disability claims, ultimately improving worker satisfaction, job performance and business productivity. Accredited trainers and progressive businesses understand that encouraging good mental health in the workplace is the right thing to do, and makes perfectly good business sense.