Good Mental Health is Good for Business – My Model for Managing Mental Health in the Workplace

Finally, the missing piece of the employee health puzzle is falling into place.

The traditional approach by employers has been to manage the “physical” by implementing safety systems and rehabilitation programs. More recently the focus has been on “wellness”, gym memberships, fruit boxes in the lunchrooms and in-house massages or yoga classes have been some of the initiatives adopted. But recently business has started to shift the focus to the last piece of the puzzle, the management of mental health in the workplace.

Economic downturn, societal pressures, being asked “to do more with less” are some of the real issues that impact on the wellbeing of employees. At any point in time 1 in 6 working people will be living with mental illness. Mental health in the workplace is a real and growing concern for every business.

A recent report by the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance, identified that mental health is one of the leading causes of sickness absence, long term work incapacity and reduced employee performance. It is estimated that mental health costs Australian businesses approximately 11 billion dollars per annum.

It is encouraging to see that many businesses no longer advise their employees “not to bring their personal issues to work”. Business owners, managers and executives have realised that it is in their best interest to adopt initiatives that minimise the impact of and enable them to manage mental health in their workplace.

A well designed mental health strategy just makes good business sense. It has many benefits to both employees and employers. In 2014, a report by PWC stated that the positive return on investment is that for every $1.00 spent on effective mental health actions, returns $2.30 in benefits to organisations.

My work in this field has led me to create the © 9 Point Approach for Managing Workplace Mental Health. It provides a holistic approach to managing mental health in the workplace by minimising workplace risk factors and maximising potential protective actions.

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I will discuss each of these 9 Points in subsequent posts.

About the Author

I am the principal of Cartec Consulting an HR / OD company that assists business to align their people with the business strategy.

Contact me via email on cliff@cartec.com.au or mobile on 0400 088 627