There are social and financial benefits of mentally healthy workplaces.
All workers can benefit from mentally healthy workplaces in more ways than day-to-day performance; mentally healthy workplaces encourage prevention of mental ill-health or illness and connect workers to support early to improve their recovery.
Keeping good workers for longer periods not only reduces workplace costs, it’s also important for retaining organisational knowledge, skills and experience. Research indicates working in an environment that is mentally healthy is the second most important factor when looking for a job. When workers feel supported, valued and engaged they are more committed to their organisation and doing their best work. A positive workplace culture brings out the best in everyone and benefits your business.
A Heads Up and Instinct and Reason study1 shows workers are less likely to change jobs if they believe their workplace is mentally healthy.
Offering workers an opportunity for professional training and development, hosting regular one-on-one meetings, and setting short and long-term work goals can keep workers motivated in their jobs and feel supported in their careers.
As a worker, you have an important role to play in creating a mentally healthy workplace where you and your co-workers can thrive . You may or may not be experiencing mental ill-health now, but you still benefit from working in a positive and supportive work environment. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Mentally healthy workplaces can provide you with many benefits including:
- a feeling of belonging
- financial security
- a sense of purpose
- social connections and networks.
If you're experiencing mental ill-health or illness, a mentally healthy workplace will also make it easier to get the support you need to get better, alleviate your symptoms, continue to enjoy the benefits of work and boost your mental fitness in future. Explore support opportunities at work, including counselling services, mental health and wellbeing programs and resources, e-health pathways, peer-to-peer support and recovery at work.
45% of Australians experience a mental illness in their lifetime2 and nearly 1 in 6 workers are experiencing mental ill-health right now3
Avoiding these costs is easy and doesn’t have to be expensive.
We’re here to help: this website provides resources supported by evidence and is a great place to get started.
To promote mental health and reduce the impact of mental ill-health or illness, here are some simple steps you can take one at a time:
- show leadership commitment and lead by example
- talk to workers to identify factors that are impacting their mental health and actions to remove or reduce their impact
- promote mental health and wellbeing at work
- provide access to support services
- introduce or revise your workplace training
- provide access to tools and resources for day-to-day activities and induction packs
- update your policies and ways of working to support mental health
- more actions.
Benefits for business
It makes sense for businesses large and small to develop a mentally healthy workplace and making these changes is easy. You can start with a few simple steps.
There are big benefits too. A mentally healthy workplace creates a more engaged and productive workforce, helping you attract and keep great workers. Workers also take less time off and your business saves money. For every dollar spent to improve mental health at work, you can achieve returns of up to four dollars through improved productivity and savings from workers compensation claims3.
Tools and resources
More on this topic from:
- UTS and the University of Sydney - read more about the return on investment of mentally healthy workplaces
- SuperFriend - discover practical tips and more about the benefits of mentally healthy workplaces for different industries
- TNS and beyondblue - explore how mentally healthy workplaces are as important to Australian workers as physical safety
- Heads Up and Instinct and Reason - learn about the power of mentally healthy workplaces to attract and keep great workers
- Mental Health Commission of Canada - see why smart mental health spending pays dividends
- Instinct and Reason beyondblue, Employer of Choice Study, 2014
- Australian Bureau of Statistics, National Survey of Mental Health Wellbeing: Summary of results, 2007
- UTS and University of Sydney, Mentally healthy workplaces: A return-on-investment study, 2017