Creating mentally healthy workplaces
Good mental health is vital to us all, it helps us cope with normal stress, realise our abilities and participate at work and in the community. Most of us experience good mental health but from time to time we can all experience low levels. Mental health issues in workplace contribute to lost productivity and higher costs, risks of higher presenteeism and absenteeism, and lower engagement.
Mentally healthy workplaces minimise risks of psychological harm, promote and support positive mental health and support recovery after injury and illness. Yet only only 52% of employees believe their workplace is mentally healthy. The Queensland Government is committed to advancing Queenslanders health.
The Queensland public sector has a significant role in supporting the government's commitment and fostering workplaces that support positive mental health and wellbeing.
Creating mentally healthy workplaces: Healthy minds outlines the overall approach across the sector along with a presentation that complements the placemat (PPTX, 2.63 MB).
Benefits of mentally healthy workplaces
- Good mental health for individuals
- Reduced injuries and illness and improved recovery after an injury or illness
- Positive and healthy cultures
- Higher levels of staff satisfaction and engagement
- Increased attraction of talent and reduced turnover
Who plays a part in the workplace?
- Leaders demonstrated commitment encourages positive practices across the organisation
- Supervisor and manager capability play a key role in determining workers' health and occupational outcomes
- Workers' awareness and peer relationships can impact co-workers
- Workplace culture plays a big part in promoting good mental health, preventing psychological injuries/illness and supporting recovery.
- In summary, everyone!
Developing a workplace mental health strategy
- Heads Up guidelines
- Psychological risk assessment
- Preventing and managing risks to work-related psychological health–ways to eliminate or minimise risks
- SafeWork–the psychological risks - demand, control, support, change, fairness
- People at work–a psychosocial risk assessment tool
- Mentally healthy workplaces toolkit–practical guidance to facilitate steps towards a mentally healthy workplace
- Reducing mental ill health in the workplace–evidence for interventions (research by NSW government)
- Return on Investment Study–evidence for what can make a difference (research by NSW government)
Promoting better understanding of mental health
- Heads Up–free resources, videos and training materials
- Programs to support creating mentally healthy workplaces
- Contact your Employee Assistance Program provider
Reducing stigma in the workplace
Promoting positive and healthy cultures
- Positive and healthy workplace cultures guide
- Employee wellbeing check-in tool for leaders and managers (PDF, 363 KB)
Supporting recovery in the workplace
- Guidelines developed by the University of Melbourne in collaboration with BeyondBlue to help plan and support your workers to recover and return to work.
Across the sector agencies are working together to ensure initiatives are in place to prevent harm, promote wellbeing, intervene early and support employees with greatest need. Get inspired by other Queensland public sector agencies and staff who are creating mentally healthy workplaces.
- Gold Coast Hospital Emergency Department–OneED a staff wellness program in a busy emergency department
- Queensland Police–improving mental health and wellbeing
- Office of Industrial Relations–Improving responsiveness to Queensland workers in distress
- Queensland Ambulance Service–looking after the mental health and wellbeing of employees
- Energy Queensland–holistic program preventing suicide and promoting a mentally healthy workplace
- West Moreton Health and Hospital Service–Peer support program for staff impacted by occupational violence
- State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning–Building staff awareness and managers capability
- Mental Health Strategy implementation at the Department of Transport and Main Roads
- Department of Employment, Small Business and Training–Recovery at work
Visit the Public Service Commission's wellbeing resources, the Office of Industrial Relations Mentally Healthy Workplace Toolkit or Heads Up for more ideas and resources to create mentally healthy workplaces.