How to encourage mental health conversations

HR leaders shouldn't shy away from discussing these tough issues with staff

How to encourage mental health conversations
Just 45% of Australians suffering from mental health issues like anxiety, depression and substance abuse ever seek help, says the Australian Psychological Society (APS).

The APS seeks to increase that rate by urging Australians to Believe In Change – this year’s theme for Mental Health Week that will run from 8-14 October.

“We need to encourage people to seek professional help and an important part of that is demonstrating how those conditions can be managed and overcome,” said Executive Director Professor Lyn Littlefield.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, one in five Australians experience mental illness each year. This represents more than 3.2 million Australians aged 16-85. Per age group, mental illness is most common among those aged 18-24, 26% of whom have experienced issues.

Depression is the leading cause of disability globally, according to the World Health Organisation.

As part of the campaign, prominent Australians such as former Olympic swimmer Libby Trickett will talk about their experiences in battling mental health issues, and how psychologists have helped them survive and even thrive.

“It is common to feel stuck but psychologists can help you make change. The first step is to believe in change,” Trickett said.

“It’s great that more and more we can have this conversation and be open about mental health issues,” she added. “Throughout my life and career I have sought assistance from psychologists to help me achieve peak performance and also deal with challenges.”


Related stories:
Why your workplace needs a mental health ambassador
New mental health research to help workplaces

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