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.
The Mind Your Head program is an initiative of The Australian Council of Trade Unions and is committed to bringing employers, workers, unions, insurers and renowned academics together to improve workplace mental health and prevent mental health injury before it occurs.
The pilot program launched in Victoria, supported by Employers Mutual Limited and WorkSafe’s WorkWell Mental Health Program.
The aims of this campaign are to:
- Raise the priority of mental health and safety to sit equal to treatment of physical health and safety
- Educate and develop workers, HSRs, Managers and Leaders to understand work-related mental health risk factors and the relationship with WHS
- Design tools and resources for workplaces to create mentally safe systems of work
- Facilitate engagement with workers, HSRs, managers and leaders to work together to create mentally healthy work
- Review and analyse the interventions to determine best practice and create a community that learns from each other
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.
Median number of weeks lost from psychological injuries
Economic cost of psychological injuries per year
Cost of absenteeism to workplaces per year
Mind Your Head is helping workplaces improve their workplace mental health systems and practices by providing systems for workplaces and a suites of resources that workers, unions and organisations can use to identify and eliminate psychosocial hazards in their workplace.If your workplace is having trouble addressing workplace mental health hazards, Mind Your Head can help.
Having a mentally healthy workplace means having the right tools and resources to identify and address workplace mental health risks before they become a hazard.
Sign up to get access to Mind Your Heads tools and resources to help improve your workplace’s mental health systems and practices, as well as ongoing updates about workplace mental health and the program.
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