Mental health

Did you know that about one in five Australians will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime? Common conditions like depression and anxiety may impact on work performance, so it's a good idea to think about how you manage mental health issues in your business.

Why managing mental health is important in your workplace

As a business and an employer, managing mental health within your business will help you:

  • reduce staff absenteeism and working days lost each year
  • increase productivity in your workplace
  • create a mentally safe and healthy work place
  • abide by work health and safety laws, which require employers to take reasonable steps to make their workplaces mentally safe and healthy.

You also have legal requirements to look after your employees' mental health, including:

  • providing a physically and mentally safe workplace
  • preventing discrimination against employees with a disability (including mental health conditions)
  • protecting your employee's personal information - don't tell anyone about your employee's mental health conditions unless they agree to it and mental health status is not disclosed to anyone without their consent
  • ensuring your workplace does not take any unfair action against someone because of their mental health condition.

How to promote mental health initiatives in your business

As an employer, you can help promote mental health initiatives in your business by:

  • encouraging help seeking behaviour with your staff
  • reducing the stigma associated with mental illness in your workplace
  • fostering connectivity throughout your community.

Seek to achieve these goals by encouraging people to take personal ownership of their own mental health and wellbeing.

Here's some steps your business can take to look after the mental health of your employees:

  1. Increase awareness of mental health conditions and reduce the stigma in your workplace.
  2. Support employees with mental health conditions in the workplace and prevent discrimination against them.
  3. Identify and minimise workplace risks to your employees' mental health.
  4. Encourage your employees to look after their own mental health.

Mental health resources for small business

Business in Mind

To help small to medium business owners manage mental health, beyondblue offers a free online resource called Business in Mind.

Business in Mind provides you with information and advice on a range of topics including:

  • creating a mentally healthy workplace
  • what signs to look out for in others
  • legal obligations
  • managing performance concerns.

Try Business in Mind now to see how you can improve your support for employees.

Ahead for Business

Ahead for Business helps small business owners take action on their own mental health and wellbeing.

The website and app connects you with information, programs and online resources to help you manage your every day business stressors and take action on mental health challenges.

You can get tailored recommendations, information and programs by completing the two-minute business stress survey and the five-minute mental health check-up.

Find out more at Ahead for Business.

What to do...

  • Visit Mental Health Council of Australia for information on achieving better mental health.
  • Visit and download the Motivate, manage and reward performance guide for useful tools and checklists to assist with encouraging your staff.
  • Visit beyondblue for online resources that can help you manage mental health issues.
  • Read our Hiring topic for more ways you can maintain a healthy and employee-friendly workplace.

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