Safety Solutions: Future workplaces for health and wellbeing
NSW paves the way for mental health in the workplace
The NSW government is launching a new mental health strategy for employers.
It will form part of SafeWork NSW’s Work Health and Safety Roadmap for NSW 2022, which is a six-year plan that aims to reduce work-related serious injuries and illnesses — including mental illness — by 30%.
With mental health absenteeism estimated to cost the NSW economy $1.5 billion each year, the government is aiming to boost the state’s productivity.
“At any given time, one in six working-age people suffer from a mental illness, the equivalent of more than 800,000 people in NSW,” said Matt Kean, Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation.
“People will spend up to one-third of their lives at work, which means the workplace is a huge opportunity to help support individuals’ mental health.”
The government will draw on mental health initiatives run by organisations such as the Mental Health Commission of NSW, WayAhead and NSW Health.
“We want to tap into their knowledge and work together to develop a plan that will, for the first time, attempt to find solutions to the challenge of mental health in the workplace, and better support NSW businesses to effectively manage it,” said Kean.
Tanya Davies, Minister for Mental Health, said it will be an important opportunity to hear from those directly affected by mental health in the workplace.
“This is about putting people, not process, at the centre of the mental health care system, and is a decade-long whole-of-government enhancement of the services we provide in NSW,” she said.
“We know mental illness does not discriminate, and can touch the lives of people anywhere, including the workplace, which is why a key reform focus is to strengthen prevention and early intervention supports.”
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