Mental health in men: An issue we must address

by Cameron Edmond10 Sep 2013

NFP organisation beyondblue has announced today it will offer free or heavily-subsidised training to male-dominated workplaces across Australia to improve the mental health of workers, reduce male suicide rates, and increase business’ understanding of the advantages of – and how to achieve – a mentally healthy workplace.

Seventy-six per cent of suicides are men and 56% are men of working age, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This indicates intervention in the workplace could be critical to reducing suicide rates. As men are less likely to seek support when suffering from a mental health issue, it is important for employers to be aware of warning signs.

There are tangible benefits for employers to do so, with evidence suggesting productivity is one metric that will improve if they foster a mentally healthy workplace.

“It is estimated that depression alone causes six million working days and 12 million days of reduced productivity each year and costs Australian businesses $12bn annually in lost productivity and staff turnover,” Kate Camell, CEO of beyondblue, said. “Having a mentally healthy workplace boosts productivity because staff take fewer sick days, are more engaged and stay in their jobs longer.”

The benefits can also extend to helping families and the wider Australian community by reducing stigma and discrimination.

“We hope to give everyone with mental health problems a fair go,” Carnell said.

The training workshops – the National Workplace Program sessions – are funded by the Department of Health and Ageing’s Taking Action To Tackle Suicide strategy. The workshops apply to SMEs, NFPs, unions and businesses in the construction, mining, manufacturing and transport industries.

For more information, click here.

 

Further reading:

Sick leave costing organisations billions

Call for businesses to share mental health initiatives

COMMENTS

  • by David Carwardine 11/09/2013 6:54:53 AM

    I do not wish to be negative but a capitalist world focuses on bums on seats and productivity. Depression is an inability to communicate a personal understanding or feeling without causing harm especially to those we love. It's as every way will hurt the stability of the life/s that surrounded us. Whatever we know or feel that we find difficult to disclose is far more about outside than inside and the workplace is a part. Survival within capitalism has no room for what you are suggesting. It's a feel good measure until it affects the bottom line when the only realistic act for the security of all within the organization will be to burn the threat and it is now far easier to do as the person has been exposed by the illusion of care in a system that has limits. Workplaces already have many process for communication. If it's not happening already, explain to me why this will make it any better. Unlike the act of responsibility, care has limits. One day the budget may allow us to care more or we may have more time to care. Unless you are all prepared to go all the way and accept harsh honesty that may lead you into the same black hole, just back off, share a beer with me and act as my mate, not my saviour.

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