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.
The strategy is informed by research and these research papers are available below.
The strategy at a glance
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.
Increase awareness of the role of the workplace in mental health.
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.
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.
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.
Improve the knowledge base and build workplace capability to use evidence to inform decisions.
Continue to improve the knowledge base about mentally healthy workplaces to inform decisions and improve outcomes.
Help workplaces use data effectively, including the benchmarking tool, to create mentally healthy workplaces.
Target high risk worker populations, including small and micro businesses, frontline customer service and workers with an acquired brain injury.
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.
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.
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.
Enable increased workforce participation and community engagement for at-risk workers.
- 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.
These research papers informed the NSW Mentally Healthy Workplaces Strategy 2018-2022.
Mentally healthy workplaces: A return on investment study - August 2017
This report combines the evidence of effects for workplace interventions, the costs of undertaking these and real world data on the prevalence and costs of mental ill-health in Australian employees to show the potential impact employers could have just on their own bottom line.PDF File, 1.4 MB, 19/10/17
Mentally healthy workplaces in NSW discussion paper – September 2017
The purpose of this discussion paper is to frame discussions at the Mental Health Safety Summit. It does so in five parts: Parts 1 and 2 provide a fact base for the Summit and Parts 3 to 5 will stimulate discussion for the Summit. The paper is informed by a detailed literature review of academic research on psychosocial risks and evidence-informed interventions and key issues emerging from the review. It does not examine barriers and enablers for people with mental ill-health entering the workforce.PDF File, 311.2 KB, 19/10/17
Mentally healthy workplaces in NSW benchmarking tool – October 2017
This benchmarking tool was developed in collaboration with experts and advocates to measure the capability of workplaces to create a mentally healthy workplace.PDF File, 6.2 MB, 19/10/17
Mentally healthy workplaces in NSW benchmarking tool overview – October 2017
Mentally healthy workplaces in NSW benchmarking tool overviewPDF File, 693.3 KB, 19/10/17
- Review of Evidence of Psychosocial Risks for Mental Health PDF File, 1.3 MB, 06/06/18
- Review of interventions to reduce mental ill-health in the workplace PDF File, 1.4 MB, 05/06/18
- Key issues for SafeWork NSW emerging from review of risks for workplace mental ill-health PDF File, 1.2 MB, 06/06/18
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
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.
Overview of work-related stress: Tip sheet 1
Stress is a term that is widely used in everyday life and most people have some idea of its meaning. Work-related stress is recognised globally as a major challenge to workers’ health, and the health of a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU): tip sheet 1Standard Page, 27/06/16
A risk management approach to work-related stress: Tip sheet 2
Risk management is a four-step process for controlling exposure to health and safety risks associated with hazards in the workplace: tip sheet 2Standard Page, 30/05/16
Implementing a work-related stress risk management process: Tip sheet 3
This risk factor addresses the level of influence workers have on how they meet their task demands and the way they perform their work in general: tip sheet 3Standard Page, 24/05/16
Risk factors for work-related stress: Tip sheet 4
Risk factors for work-related stress are aspects of work that are associated with psychiatric, psychological and/or physical injury or illness:- tip sheet 4.Standard Page, 24/05/16
Work demands and work-related stress: Tip Sheet 5
Keywords: tip sheet 5, stress, tips, tip sheet, work demands, work stress
Work demands are one of the most common sources of work-related stress. While workers may need challenging tasks to maintain their interest and motivation, and to develop new skills, it is important that demands do not exceed their ability to cope: tip sheet 5.Standard Page, 25/05/16
Levels of control and work-related stress: Tip sheet 6
Low levels of job control, where there is high work demand and low support from co-workers or supervisors, may increase the likelihood of work-related stress.Standard Page, 25/05/16
Support from supervisors and/or co-workers regarding work-related stress: Tip sheet 7
Support from supervisors and/or co-workers regarding work-related stress - tip sheet 7Standard Page, 25/05/16
Role clarity, role conflict and work-related stress: Tip sheet 8
Poorly defined or conflicted roles in a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) can be a stressor for workers - tip sheet 8Standard Page, 25/05/16
Managing relationships and work-related stress: Tip sheet 9
Work colleagues can be important sources of support, but they can also be sources of stress. Managing relationships and work-related stress - tip sheet 9Standard Page, 25/05/16
Recognition and reward minimising work-related stress: Tip sheet 10
Rewarding workers’ efforts and recognising their organisational contributions and achievements as individuals and teams, are essential to minimising the risk of work-related stress: tip sheet 10Standard Page, 25/05/16
Managing change and work-related stress: Tip sheet 11
Change is an inevitable aspect of organisational life and can be essential for future growth - Tip Sheet 11.Standard Page, 24/05/16
Organisational justice and work-related stress: Tip sheet 12
Organisational justice and work-related stressStandard Page, 24/05/16