Mental Health in the Workplace

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Would you know how to help in a crisis situation in the workplace?

The workplace is where the early signs and symptoms of mental health problems might first be noticed.  They often develop gradually and the symptoms can be disabling, affecting work performance and productivity.

Providing mental health first aid early can assist workers in returning to their usual performance quickly and avoid the problem worsening or a crisis emerging.  However, many people are not well informed about how to recognise mental health problems, how to respond and what effective treatments are available.

Mental health problems are common in the workplace
1 in 4 will experience an anxiety disorder
1 in 6 will experience depression at some stage of their lives.

Many people with mental health problems don’t seek or delay seeking help.
The longer they delay getting help and support, the more difficult recovery can be.

Does your workplace have Mental Health Officers?

Most workplaces have First Aid Officers but few have Mental Health First Aid Officers.  it makes sense to have staff who are trained to offer help and support to co-workers who may be experiencing a mental health problem or crisis, as well as staff specifically appointed as formal Mental Health First Aid Officers.

Developing mental health problems:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety problems
  • Psychosis
  • Substance use problems

Mental health crises:

  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviours
  • Non-suicidal self-injury
  • Panic attacks
  • Traumatic events
  • Severe psychotic states
  • Severe effects from alcohol or other drug use
  • Aggressive behaviours

Mental Health Commissioner, Tim Marney, challenged companies to address mental health issues. Not only to assist their employees but to increase their productivity.

Australian workplaces can expect a return on investment of $2.3 for every $1 invested in mental health first aid training for staff.

Considering also the broad impacts of mental health problems, it is certainly well worth the investment!

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