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Six Degrees Executive partners with beyondblue to create mentally healthy workplaces

by Nick Hindhaugh

Beyondblue and mentally healthy workplaces

Melbourne-based recruitment firm Six Degrees Executive, has partnered with beyondblue to raise awareness about depression and anxiety in the workplace by focusing on educating staff and supporting candidates.

Both anxiety and depression can affect anyone. In the workplace, these conditions not only affect workers, but due to absenteeism and staff turnover can lead to reduced productivity in Australian businesses.

It is estimated that depression alone causes 6 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.

One in eight men will experience depression and that one in five men will experience an anxiety disorder at some stage in their lives. In Australia, suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 44- right in the middle of both a male and a female’s prime working years.

For Six Degrees Executive, the partnership with beyondblue is a natural progression after witnessing the impact of anxiety and depression on various executives who struggle to secure work in a tough economic market.

Paul Hallam, company director, says Six Degrees has always had a strong commitment to community causes, however as the business grew, they felt it best to dedicate their time, money and resources to one cause that really hit home for them.

“This is something we have seen growing over the years, not only with some of our team, yet more and more with our candidates as the employment market has tightened,” says Mr Hallam, whose business employs 38 people across Melbourne and Sydney.

“In a tough and uncertain job market, mental health issues are common within the Australian workplace. Unfortunately, the stigma associated with having a mental health problem is a continuing issue for some businesses and their staff.  Therefore, we need to raise awareness about the importance of having mentally healthy workplaces and supporting policies,” he said.

Having previously worked with beyondblue’s CEO Kate Carnell AO, Six Degrees Executive approached Ms Carnell about the partnership, to which she was very receptive.

Ms Carnell said beyondblue is very pleased to be working with Six Degrees Executive to raise awareness about the importance of mental health in the workplace.

“Having a mentally healthy workplace boosts productivity because staff take fewer sick days, are more engaged and stay in their jobs longer.

“By creating mentally healthy workplaces across the country and educating people so stigma and discrimination are reduced, we hope to give everyone with mental health problems a fair go,” she said.

Six Degrees Executive is committed to practising what they preach and are aware that the change in attitudes must start within their own business.

“Part of the arrangement will also see the entire Six Degrees Leadership Team trained in identifying anxiety and depression symptoms, better enabling them to understand the beyondblue message and in turn, spread the word within the corporate community,” Mr Hallam said “Six Degrees is all about people and we fully support beyondblue and their cause.”

To find out more about how your business can become involved please visit the beyondblue website