Work is a significant factor in people’s mental health. We know that meaningful, rewarding, good work can impact positively on our mental health. Equally we know that issues such as high workloads, customer and client aggression and poor workplace relationships can adversely impact on workers’ mental health.
This campaign is about recognising the impact that the workplace itself has on workers’ mental health. Mind Your Head encourages action in workplaces to address mental health hazards – just like we would take action on a slip hazard.
Just like physical health and safety hazards, such as slippery surfaces, dangerous and unguarded machinery and badly set-up work stations, there are also workplace mental health hazards, like high workloads, isolated work and poor role clarity.
These workplace mental health hazards injure thousands of workers each year, just like physical hazards but they often fly under the radar.
Because we haven’t tackled these issues like we do with other workplace health and safety issues, workplaces are experiencing a mental health emergency, with workplace mental injuries now the fastest growing type of workplace injury in Australia.
Most workers don’t feel enough is being done to address workplace mental health hazards.
Most workplaces tend to place a greater focus on the physical health and safety hazards at work. Unlike physical hazards, employers find it difficult to identify workplace mental health hazards and put systems and practices in place to address them.
Mental health hazards can have a major impact on individuals, but they also affect everyone in the workplace through high staff turnover, reduced productivity and of course, an increase in workers’ compensation claims.
of all serious workers’ compensation claims are for work-related mental health conditions.
Australians are compensated for work-related mental health conditions
of serious work-related mental health condition claims are attributed to work related mental stress.
Mind Your Head is helping workplaces improve their workplace mental health systems and practices.
Employers have legal obligations to protect workers’ health and safety and this includes their mental health. Employers must consult with workers about identifying hazards and risks to workers’ mental health and work with them and their representatives to make changes to eliminate and reduce them.
That’s why unions, employers and work health and safety regulators have come together to give workplaces the resources and tools they need to identify and address workplace mental health hazards.
Having good workplace mental health systems and practices in place reduces stress, improves work relationships and makes work more enjoyable – it’s in everyone’s interests to work towards a mentally healthy workplace.
Whether you’re a worker or an employer, we want to hear from you, so please – sign up to Mind Your Head.