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beyondblue Heads Up campaign helping businesses and individuals take action on mental health

Gerogie Harman
beyondblue Heads Up campaign helping businesses and individuals take action on mental health

beyondblue, together with the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance, is encouraging business leaders to take action on mental health at work through the Australian-first mental health workplace campaign, Heads Up.

Heads Up was launched in May 2014, with a PwC report revealing that Australian businesses receive an average return on investment of $2.30 for every $1 they spend on effective workplace mental health strategies.

The research looked at the impact the mental health of employees had on their productivity and the number of compensation claims lodged. Absenteeism, reduced worker productivity and claims resulting from employees’ mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety cost Australian employers at least $10.9 billion a year.

The report, along with other research released throughout the campaign focusing on the attitudes of business leaders and employees, provides a compelling case for businesses to get involved and introduce Heads Up strategies into their workplaces.

The campaign’s centrepiece is the Heads Up website, where business leaders and managers can find out why they could be losing money if they are not investing in employees’ mental health. They can also sign up for practical advice about how to have a more mentally healthy workplace and they can access, free of charge, a range of useful ideas.

The Heads Up Action Plan allows businesses to create tailor-made mental health plans on the website, based on their priority areas. The unique mental health action plans are accompanied by a suite of free resources.

There’s also an interactive questionnaire on the site to help workers struggling with depression or anxiety to decide whether they should tell their employer or colleagues about their mental health condition. This is a personal decision for the individual with no wrong or right answer, and it can be helpful to weigh up the pros and cons.

beyondblue Chairman The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC said employers have a responsibility not only to their workers, but also to their businesses’ profitability, to tackle people’s mental health conditions  in the workplace.

“Mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety affect one in five Australian workers, but sadly too many workplaces still do not realise the importance of their employees’ mental health,” he said.

Heads Up provides business leaders and managers with ways to implement policies and actions to help ensure that Australia’s 11.5 million workers receive the support they need to be mentally healthy and productive at work.”

Since the launch of the campaign in May 2014, more than 154,000 people have viewed the Heads Up website and more than 4,800 people have registered to receive regular updates on how they can make their workplace more mentally healthy.

To find out more visit www.headsup.org.au/