The NSW Government will today host a Mentally Healthy Workplaces Summit as part of its long-term plan to improve mental health in workplaces across the state.

The summit will bring together 130 delegates, including mental health experts, the business sector, and government and worker representatives, to improve mental health at work.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said the summit would inform a Mentally Healthy Workplaces Strategy enabling NSW businesses to better support mental health.

“Recent NSW Government-commissioned research showed that less than 25 per cent of NSW businesses have measures in place that specifically address mental health,” he said.

“With one in six working-age people suffering from a mental illness across Australia, it’s clear that more needs to be done to understand and address this important issue.

“This week’s summit is a vital step in developing a long-term strategy that aims to reduce the causes, impact and severity of mental health in workplaces across NSW.”

Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies said the NSW Government was committed to improving mental health right across the state.

“With one third of adult life spent at work, the workplace can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health,” Mrs Davies said.

“Strengthening prevention and early intervention supports is a critical part of the NSW Government’s comprehensive approach to improving mental health in our cities, rural areas and regional centres.”

Sydney woman, Louise Dubois, has worked in the field of organisational health and mental health for more than 25 years but, despite her professional expertise, experienced a period of severe mental illness where she needed hospital care and other treatment before making a recovery and returning to work.

Ms Dubois, who will join the Ministers at the summit, is now an RUOK? Ambassador and said businesses should promote being healthy and practice a healthy management style as part of their workplace culture.

“Mental illness does not discriminate, and I believe that businesses that invest in workplace mental health can improve productivity and, most importantly, worker’s health.”

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