Jul 30th, 2018
With the significant impact that mental health has in the Australian workplace, it is good news that Malcolm Turnbull has announced a $34 million funding boost for Lifeline, enabling the mental health helpline to continue to save lives every day.
Wentworth Advantage has a strong strategic alliance with Lifeline as part of the Wellbeing program, which is available to clients as part of the service. All staff have been trained by Lifeline to respond to requests for help in the mental health arena.
Lifeline chairman John Brogden said the additional funding would have a direct impact on the number of calls the service could answer. The massive funding boost will help to work towards being able to answer all calls.
More than a million Australians call Lifeline each year, and the government is investing over $4.2 billion dollars into mental health services. More Australians are in need, making investment in early intervention services and national support programs a priority.
4 million Australians a year experience a mental health condition, and this has a significant impact on the workplace. Mental illness in Australia has a significant impact on our society individually, socially and economically. A study by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that approximately one in five Australian adults aged 16 to 85 years will experience at least one of the common forms of mental illness throughout any given year and 45% will experience a mental health or substance-use disorder in their lifetime. A survey of over 5000 workers indicated that 25% of workers took time off each year for stress-related reasons. These figures result in a drastic drain on the Australian economy with costs ranging from $10 to $15 billion annually due to health expenses, reduced workforce participation and decreased productivity in the workplace.
Recognising and promoting mental health is an essential part of creating a safe and healthy workplace. It is vital that managers recognise the contributing factors and early signs of problems and that staff feel encouraged to report issues early. Importantly, managers and workers both have an equal responsibility in building a safe work environment.
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