Millions of Australians afraid to talk about mental health with their boss
One in two Australians would feel uncomfortable discussing issues about mental health with their manager, according to new research by The Australia Institute.
An unhealthy obsession? The impact of work hours and workplace culture on Australia’s health reveals that there is an epidemic of workplace-related stress and anxiety in Australia affecting around three million employees.
The paper will be launched at the National Press Club on national Go Home On Time Day on Wednesday November 21. ACTU President Ged Kearney and beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell will discuss the issue of ‘Improving productivity through healthier workplaces’.
The Australia Institute’s Executive Director Dr Richard Denniss said that a significant number of employees (43 per cent of those surveyed) reported that their managers are poorly skilled in discussing sensitive workplace issues.
“The survey shows that Australian workers find talking about mental health issues with their manager far harder than any other workplace issue. In fact, twice as many people find talking about mental health in the workplace more difficult than talking about work/life balance and job security,” said Dr Denniss.
“Those working for small businesses were nearly twice as likely as their colleagues in bigger organisations, to report that their overall workplace culture is 'very good'. They were also twice as likely to report that their manager’s skills in holding conversations about mental health problems were ‘very good’ than those working for larger employers.”
beyondblue: the national depression and anxiety initiative is supporting Go Home On Time Day to raise awareness of the link between overwork and stress with anxiety and depression and to encourage organisations to take prevention seriously.
CEO of beyondblue Ms Kate Carnell AO said every Australian workplace should view the workplace e-learning programs on the beyondblue website or book a face-to-face training session in order to improve how they deal with depression and anxiety amongst employees.
“This research shows that more than half of Australian workers say their employers are not good at dealing with mental health issues and that it’s a difficult subject for them to raise inthe workplace,” said Ms Carnell.
Article Date: 9/12/2012
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