Beyondblue's free workplace training to boost mental health of Aussie miners
Beyondblue is now providing male-dominated workplaces with free or heavily-subsidised training sessions to improve the mental health of workers and help reduce male suicide rates.
Small-to-medium enterprises, not-for-profit organisations, unions and businesses in construction, mining, manufacturing and transport are eligible.
According to the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, 76 per cent of deaths by suicide were men. Of these, 56 per cent were men of working age - making the workplace an important setting for early intervention and support.
Untreated depression is a major risk factor for suicide and research shows that men are less likely than women to take action to seek support if they have a mental health problem.
Beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO says depression, anxiety and other mental health problems have a huge impact on productivity in the workplace.
"It is estimated that depression alone causes six million lost working days and 12 million days of reduced productivity each year and also costs Australian businesses $12 billion annually in lost productivity and staff turnover," Ms Carnell says.
"Having a mentally healthy workplace boosts productivity because staff take fewer sick days, are more engaged and stay in their jobs longer."
Male-dominated businesses can take advantage of beyondblue’s subsidised National Workplace Program (NWP) sessions to put in place policies that promote good mental health in the workplace and support employees with mental health problems in the same way those with physical health problems are supported.
"We can help employers and employees to recognise the early signs of anxiety and depression in their work colleagues, take action to assist them to get the treatment they need and reduce discriminatory attitudes," Ms Carnell says.
The NWP workshops for male-dominated workplaces and industries are being funded by the Department of Health and Ageing’s Taking Action to Tackle Suicide strategy, as part of a national strategy to reduce the high rate of male suicides.
There are five different workshops for people in different roles and at different organisational levels. The briefings for senior executives incorporate a business case for tackling the most common mental health problems in the workplace and leadership strategies to address them.
The sessions range between one and four hours, and are conducted by a NWP facilitator in the workplace or at a location of choice, so there is minimal disruption.
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