Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and beyondblue is raising awareness of mental health in the workplace.
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.