Ensuring good workplace mental health is important for individuals, but also for business.
Workplace mental health and wellbeing is inextricably linked to our overall wellness, particularly when we can spend a majority of our week at work and a third of our adult lives working.
While our jobs can provide satisfaction, achievement and a sense of purpose, particularly given a passion for the arts, the risk of developing mental illness can increase through a range of job and workplace factors.
Employers have a legal obligation to ensure the health and safety of their staff, but beyond this duty of care, good mental health at work makes good business sense.
Benefits of a mentally healthy workplace include increased engagement, better employee retention and improves the bottom line.
The cost of not taking action to address mental health is more than preventative actions. In fact, mental illness is estimated to cost Australian businesses over $39 billion each year through a loss of productivity, absenteeism, and turnover.
For those looking to ensure good mental health, whether for themselves or for their workplace, explore the resources and support providers below.
Workplace mental health resources
Find out how to become a mentally healthy workplace. This is one that understands that work can play a large role in an individual’s mental health, and that mental health problems can have a huge impact on an individual.
Mentally healthy workplaces promote employee education, and adopt policies and practices that create a culture of care where employees are encouraged to talk openly about mental health.
Learn more via the following resources:
Mentally Healthy Workplaces
Produced by the National Workplace Initiative, the Mentally Healthy Workplaces digital platform provides simple, consistent, quality assured advice in one place. It has been developed as a “one stop shop” for information and resources to help organisations build mentally healthy workplaces. You can also use the Mentally Healthy Workplaces platform to:
- Explore with confidence knowing all resources we link to are quality assured against our quality framework.
- Personalise your experience through filtered searches or explore widely by industry, role or topic.
- Learn and contribute through our library of case studies of different approaches other workplaces and industries have taken.
The National Workplace Initiative has also produced three Small Business Guides to Mentally Healthy Workplaces which provide information about key topics, clear examples, helpful tips and links to further support specifically for small businesses:
Developed by Beyond Blue, Heads Up is all about giving individuals and businesses the tools to create more mentally healthy workplaces.
Heads Up provides support and a range of workplace resources for:
- Employers – Making your organisation mentally healthy benefits staff and the bottom line
- Employees – Simple steps you can take to look after yourself and your colleagues
- Managers – Information to assist managers to create a mentally safe workplace
- Small business – What small business owners can do to improve their own mental health, as well as their staff's
Some specific resources from Heads Up for workplaces include:
Wherever you are on your journey to improving the mental health of your workplace, this pack is designed to be a key resource for communicating with your team, whether they're managers or front-line employees.
This training module allows employees and managers to assess common workplace scenarios that can impact the mental health of employees. The module gives the user options for exploring different actions and provides valuable insights for employees and managers on the best approaches and likely outcomes.
What would you do? Approaching an employee you’re concerned about
This resource assists managers address a common workplace scenario. Using a ‘choose a pathway’ approach, managers are challenged to help an employee dealing with a mental health condition to the benefit of the employee and the business.
These free online resources have been developed by Beyond Blue to increase understanding of mental health in the workplace and provide practical strategies to support you in your role.
Black Dog Institute
The Black Dog Institute is the only medical research institute in Australia to investigate mental health across the lifespan, with an aim to create a mentally healthier world for everyone.
They provide workplace resources and training, including a mental health toolkit for leaders, offering a practical guide to break down the stigma of mental illness and foster a work environment that promotes wellbeing.
For those in NSW, free training is currently available to eligible businesses.
Mental Health First Aid
Offering training recognised for lessening the impact of mental health problems on productivity, Mental Health First Aid can provide the foundation for a workplace mental health strategy.
General well-being resources
The following resources offer information and support for anyone looking to learn more about mental health and wellbeing, whether for themselves or assisting others.
Head to Health
The Head to Health website can help you find digital mental health services from some of Australia’s most trusted mental health organisations. Provided by the Australian Government, Head to Health brings together apps, online programs, online forums, and phone services, as well as a range of digital information resources.
Whether you’re looking to learn more about mental health difficulties, are trying to improve your own sense of wellbeing, or helping someone else — Head to Health is a good place to start.
There are a range of digital resources which are convenient, accessible, and private. They can be used as standalone supports, or in combination with face to face therapies. If you need or prefer to talk to a health professional in person for specific advice and assistance, we recommend the National Health Services Directory to find professionals near you.
Black Dog Institute
Alongside their workplace resources, The Black Dog Institute also offer a range of resources and support tools for individuals, including:
- Factsheets on mental health conditions, treatments and wellbeing
- Online Clinic which offers a free mental health assessment tool
- My Compass provides a personalised self-help tool for your mental health
Need urgent support?
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help now, call triple zero (000).
You can also call Lifeline on 13 11 14 — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Support lines and counselling services
There are several organisations that provide support and education for people with mental health issues, or families and carers throughout Australia, through helplines, video and online chat services.
- Lifeline Australia – 13 11 14
Provides 24-hour crisis counselling, support groups and suicide prevention services.
- Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
Provides 24/7 support if you or someone you know is feeling suicidal.
- Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636
For those going through a hard time, the Beyond Blue Support Service is available 24/7 for brief counselling.
- 1800 RESPECT - 0800 737 732
Open 24/7 to support people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.
- MensLine Australia – 1300 78 99 78
A professional telephone and online counselling service offering support to Australian men.
- QLIFE – 1800 184 527
QLife provides anonymous, LGBTIQ+ peer support for LGBTIQ+ individuals, their friends and families, and health professionals.