Mental Health In The Workplace

Dignity Party want more mentally healthy workplaces

There is a growing body of evidence supporting the urgent need for businesses to take the mental health of employees as seriously as they take their physical workplace health and safety. A mentally healthy workplace promotes greater worker satisfaction and delivers enormous productivity improvements.
Kelly Vincent and Dignity Party are committed to building, sustaining and strengthening the mental health and emotional well being, the physical ability and the intellectual capacity of South Australians.  We understand the importance of working with and listening to the needs of people with lived experience of disability.

The South Australian Mental Health Commission (SAMHC) hosted a Mental Health and Well-being Business lunch at Adelaide Oval on Tuesday (28thMarch).
The SAMHC has a vision to grow the mental wealth of our state. This will have a significant impact on the mental health and well-being, social cohesion and inclusion of our working people and in turn, will improve our State’s economic competitiveness and prosperity. Some of the information shared at the event;

  • Around 1 million Australian adults live with depression and over 2 million have anxiety.
  • On average one in five women and one in eight men will experience depression in their lifetime
  • One in three women and one in five men will experience anxiety
  • 45% of Australians will experience mental illness during their lifetime
  • 65% of adults with mental illness, don’t or can’t access any services
  • 1 in 12 people living with a mental illness seriously think about or attempt suicide
  • People with serious mental illness live up to 25 years less than the general population, much of it due to treatable conditions
  • Suicide is the leading underlying cause of death in Australia in the 15 – 44 year age cohort group

Guest speaker, National Mental Health Commission Chair, Professor Allan Fels explained that the greatest barrier to workplace participation by people with mental illness is a lack of support. Australia is at the low end of OECD rankings for participation of people with low to moderate mental illness in the workforce.  Fels further highlighted these startling statistics;

  • The annual cost of mental illness in first world countries is 4% of GDP, for Australia that equals $60 billion per year or $4,000 per taxpayer
  • 19,000 working weeks are lost every year in SA due to mental-health-related compensation claims
  • 77% of all disease-related compensation claims in SA are for mental health issues
  • 91% of people believe mental health in the workplace is important (88% believe physical safety is important)
  • 52% of workers believe their workplace is mentally healthy compared to 76% for physical safety
  • Only 56% of workers believe that their most senior leaders value mental health

One-in-six working age people will be living with mental health illness costing Australian businesses in the vicinity of $11 billion each year. These benefits are derived from a reduction in presenteeism ($6.1 billion), absenteeism ($4.7 billion) and compensation claims ($145.9 million). Meanwhile, many others are also caring for and supporting people with mental health difficulties while juggling their own work and home responsibilities.

Professor Fels called for more prevention and intervention and greater use of community services to keep people out of hospital. Dignity Party say we need that strong fence at the top of the cliff – not an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, prevention and support makes emotional and economic sense.

Clearly, there is a significant impact on workplaces through absenteeism, reduced productivity at work and increased staff turnover. Alan Fells stressed the benefits of intervention, with every dollar spent on effective workplace mental health actions potentially generating $2.30 in benefits to an organisation (pwc). In this way, people working in mentally healthy workplaces are more productive and committed to their organisation.

For some great resources on creating a mentally health workplace go to: https://www.headsup.org.au/creating-a-mentally-healthy-workplace


“Even the most disadvantaged Australians should be able to lead a ‘contributing life,’ whatever that means for them and this simple goal will be
our touchstone and yardstick” Professor Allan Fels

Thank you to everyone who came to our film fundraiser, Jasper Jones!  

Your ongoing support of these events is greatly appreciated, slowly, drip by drip the bucket fills…
Watch this space for our next film night fundraiser! Because we always make sure that our film nights are accessible by ensuring that captions and audio description is available, we are not always the first to screen a movie.  We need to liaise with the cinema film by film to find those with the disability access features we need.  We know there are so many worthwhile groups doing film fundraiser events, and we also appreciate a small donation if you find you can’t make our film night, but want to show your support, your donations are always needed, always welcome.

Congratulations to our raffle winners: Shane; Helen; Ben & Karen (really hope you enjoy your copy of Jasper Jones, signed and donated to Dignity Party by its generous author Mr Craig Silvey).

You can help us just by sharing!  We appreciate your “likes” and “shares” and comments on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DignityParty/ and Kelly Vincent’s FBhttps://www.facebook.com/kellyvincentmlc/

SPECIAL events for our donors!

From time to time we arrange special events for our donors, we have a lunch on 26th May.  If you would like info about these get-togethers, please just email events@dignityparty.org.au

Rick Neagle
President, Dignity Party