Working with Mental Health
Between 2000-01 and 2015-16, the number of serious claims involving mental health conditions
increased by 5 per cent.*
With a large proportion of the general population experiencing mental health issues, and as mental health compensation (psychological injury) claims increase, here are some valuable points for businesses to keep in mind.
When we talk about mental health we are referring to a continuum ranging from good mental health to poor mental health. Individuals will move along this continuum throughout different stages of their lives. This is considered normal and healthy as people respond to different life experiences and circumstances.
When an individual experiences poor mental for an extended period of time and to an extent that it impacts their daily lives, we consider this a mental health problem. A mental health problem does not always mean someone has a diagnosed illness or condition. Only a qualified health professional can make that diagnosis. If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health problems, appropriate professional help should be sought.
In Australia 1 in 5 people aged 16-85 years experience a mental health illness in any given year.** The 3 most common illnesses that have been identified are depressive and bipolar disorders, anxiety disorders and substance use disorders. These don’t always occur in isolation and individuals will often experience a combination of these.
DUTY OF CARE
Employers have a duty of care under the relevant legislation, to provide and monitor a safe system of work, which is without risk to employees’ health and safety, including psychological harm. Employers also have a duty to monitor employee health.
Injury is now defined to include mental injury, including any aggravation or acceleration of a pre-existing illness. Under Commonwealth legislation, it is unlawful to discriminate against an individual with mental health illness. Discrimination can include, but not limited to, adverse action, prospective employment opportunities, dismissal, and unreasonable requests.
*Australian Workers’ Compensation Statistics 2016-2017
** 4326.0 – National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007
Workplaces can have enormous influence on the wellbeing of an employee, which can also extend to their families, friends and community. Here are some tips and resources to help make a difference;
Ways to promote a positive environment can include wellbeing programs, workshops, encouraging open discussions, inclusiveness and best practice by leadership.
According to Safework’s November 2017 Report “Return to work psychological claims”, employees that discussed their injury with their employer before submission of their claim, had a higher return work rate than those that did not (51% versus 51%).
MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID TRAINING
Mental health first aid training provides people with the tools to recognise clusters of signs and symptoms that may indicate someone is experiencing a mental health problem or developing a mental health disorder. It equips people to help triage and support individuals until they receive the appropriate professional help.
Of 3.2 million people with a 12-month mental disorder, only 35% accessed services for mental health problems**
BEYOND BLUE – Developing a Workplace Mental Health Strategy
BEYOND BLUE – 9 Key Attributes of a Mentally Healthy Workplace
SAFE WORK AUSTRALIA – Work-related Psychological Health & Safety National Guide
BLACK DOG INSTITUTE – Workplace Mental Health Toolkit
PWC – Creating a Mentally Healthy Workplace Return on Investment Analysis
As a WHA Onsite Healthcare Provider you can enjoy:
– A competitive salary
– Laptop, Phone & Work Vehicle
– A generous training allowance
– Access to a full time training manager to coach you in your professional development
We welcome applications from Chiropractors, Physiotherapists and Osteopaths, unless otherwise specified in the job description.