Mental health

Mental (psychological) health, just like physical health, is an important part of work health and safety (WHS).

NSW Mentally healthy workplaces strategy 2018-2022

The NSW Mentally healthy workplaces strategy 2018-2022 sets out a long-term vision to create mentally healthy workplaces across NSW.

The strategy is a $55 million-dollar investment by the NSW Government and represents the most substantial investment in workplace mental health in Australia’s history.

Collaboration between key government agencies including icare, SafeWork NSW and the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) will see the delivery of a range of evidence-informed interventions.

The strategy is informed by research and these research papers are available below.


Download the mentally healthy workplaces strategy.


The strategy at a glance

Vision

NSW employers and workers take effective action to create mentally healthy workplaces.

Target

By 2022, more than 90,000 NSW businesses will be taking effective action to create mentally healthy workplaces.

Streams

The NSW Government has developed four streams of work to achieve the strategy outcomes.

1. Awareness raising

Raise awareness of workplace mental health and direct employers and workers to the mentally healthy workplaces website for information and resources to create mentally healthy workplaces.

Media campaign

Increase awareness of the role of the workplace in mental health.

Website

Provide access to prevention-focussed, practical guidance and evidence-informed tools and resources.

Prevention-focussed regulatory services

Inspector training and collaboration with others to design and deliver initiatives.

Events

Conduct promotional activities, including mental health awareness events, wellbeing champion workshops and conference participation.

2. Evidence-informed interventions

Implement interventions for high-risk industries and small / micro businesses that have demonstrated improved mental health outcomes and a positive return on investment.

Manager  training

Improve mental health literacy, increase confidence to support workers and mental illness and increase capability to design and manage work to minimise harm.

Group/digital mental health skills program

Help at-risk workers build strategies and capability to proactively manage their mental health.

Recovery at work program

Support workers through the recovery at work process.

3. Research

Improve the knowledge base and build workplace capability to use evidence to inform decisions.

Research investment

Continue to improve the knowledge base about mentally healthy workplaces to inform decisions and improve outcomes.

Data driven

Help workplaces use data effectively, including the benchmarking tool, to create mentally healthy workplaces.

Applied research

Target high risk worker populations, including small and micro businesses, frontline customer service and workers with an acquired brain injury.

Action research

Consider factors that contribute to the health, wellbeing and recovery of workers with a mental illness.

4. Building employer capability

Encourage and enable employers to build capability and take effective action through expert guidance, collaboration, recognition and leading by example.

Workplace assessment

Expert assessments and advice on-site to build capability to assess and manage mental health risks, create a positive workplace culture and design work to be safe.

Self-assessment tool

An interactive self-assessment tool for workplaces to identify areas for improvement, enable benchmarking and inform action.

Workplace collaboration and mentoring

Create opportunities for employers to collaborate and mentor each other to build capability.

Social connection

Enable increased workforce participation and community engagement for at-risk workers.

Outcomes

  • Increased awareness and understanding of mentally healthy workplaces.
  • Increased capability of NSW employers to create mentally healthy workplaces.
  • Improved NSW workers’ perception that their workplaces are safer and healthier.
  • Better promoted, preserved and restored social connections within the workplace and community.
  • Improved productivity, due to reduction in absenteeism and presenteeism, improved recovery at work outcomes and employer cost savings.

Strategy research

These research papers informed the NSW Mentally Healthy Workplaces Strategy 2018-2022.

Crisis support

The following organisations provide crisis support and assistance:

  • Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511
  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • beyondblue 1300 22 4636
  • Headspace 1800 650 890
  • Salvo Care Line 1300 363 622
  • Mensline 1300 789 978
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

Code of practice

Psychological hazards should be managed in the same way as physical hazards and the how to manage work health and safety risks code of practice provides guidance on risk management.

Work-related stress tip sheets

The stress tip sheets provide information on managing the organisational risk factors known to contribute to the risk of psychological injury.