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Why is mental health education in workplaces important?

We chat with Dan Hunt, from the Mental Health Movement, about psychosocial hazards, best practice, and the power of personal story.
Elise Willson, Marketing & Content Coordinator
2021-09-17

At any one point, a third of working-aged Australians are either struggling with a mental illness, or symptoms of mental illness. Leaders are considering not only how this affects their business, but how the organisation itself is impacting the wellbeing of their employees.  

Some estimates see workplace stress causing as much as 50% of voluntary employee turnover and 60% of absenteeism. An understanding of contributing factors towards workplace stress, known as psychosocial hazards, is something Dan Hunt, and the team at Mental Health Movement, are passionate about addressing. 

Why is mental health education in workplaces important?

Though some psychosocial hazards might be seen as a common aspect to a role, such as the emotional toll on first responders in an emergency, they still require risk-management and mitigation within the organisation.  

Less obvious but common psychosocial hazards in the workplace include under-utilisation of employee skills, low role clarity, high noise levels and a lack of training to support job performance. Understanding your organisation’s psychosocial hazards is a crucial step towards developing an effective mental health strategy.  

Mental Health Movement surveyed 5,700 working Australians to gain a better understanding of the factors leading to poor mental health, the barriers to seeking support and the general state of mental health understanding and stigma. From this they developed their Mental Health Blueprint, covering four stages of Awareness, Education, Training and Resources.    

Through their work with over 100 Australian companies, Mental Health Movement have noticed the power that personal story has on employee’s attitudes towards mental health and seeking support. When leaders share their own vulnerabilities, it gives employees permission to show theirs, influencing a more connected work culture with reduced stigma.  

So when developing your organisation’s mental health framework, don't under-value the impact leadership will have on its success. A supportive workplace environment will not only empower and assist staff, but will also positively impact productivity and company goals. 

Dan also shared some amazing insight and advice with us on continuing your own mental health education.  

Dan offers some takeaway advice

Ongoing mental health education

In partnership with Mental Health Movement we have curated a Talking About Mental Health playlist specifically to showcase content that will assist you in developing the mental health blueprint in your organisation.  

The playlist includes learning content from Mental Health Movement, as well as other mental health providers. If you are already a Go1 customer, you can recreate this playlist in your own LMS or Go1 Platform. If you are not yet a customer but interested in the Go1 Content Hub for your organisation's wellbeing and L&D goals, please get in touch with the team today. 

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