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Media Release: New campaign to improve the mental health of workers

February 14, 2020

Canberra workers will benefit from greater mental health support, with the launch of the ACT Government's new Mentally Healthier Workplaces campaign. 

Launched today by Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety, Suzanne Orr, the Mentally Healthier Workplaces campaign will promote six key actions that businesses can take to encourage positive mental health in the workplace.

The six action areas are:

  • Design jobs to minimise harm
  • Promote protective factors
  • Strengthen resilience
  • Intervene early
  • Support recovery
  • Reduce stigma

This initiative is designed to help ACT businesses define and prioritise their goals, identify risk areas and take a step-by-step approach to creating a mentally healthier workplace.

With the Australian economy losing around $11 billion per year to untreated mental health conditions, Minister Orr said the pledge will also help Canberra businesses reach their potential through a stronger and happier workforce.

 “By pledging their commitment to these six key actions, employers can help protect the well-being of their staff while also providing them with the support they need,” Minister Orr said.

“Workers spend the majority of their day at work, whether in the office or on the job site. That means the workplace can play a big role in the mental health of their staff, and as an extension, the whole community.

“One in five employees take time off work each year because they are stressed, anxious, depressed or mentally unwell. We know that for every dollar spent on improving mental health, businesses can achieve returns of up to 14 dollars through increased productivity and savings from workers compensation claims.”

ACT Work Safety Commissioner, Greg Jones, backed the campaign as a positive for both workers and employers. 

“By implementing prevention strategies in the workplace and combatting the stigma that stands in the way of people seeking help early, businesses can play an important role in better mental health for the whole community.”

The Healthier Work Team at WorkSafe ACT will facilitate the delivery of the Mentally Healthier Workplaces campaign.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.healthierwork.act.gov.au

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