Mental Health in Your Community

Did you know?

  • There are currently (2019) there are 3 million people in Australia living with anxiety and depression? Did you know this is on the rise daily
  • Nearly 8 people take their own lives every day
  • Out of that number – 2 are women, and 6 are men

The Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2008) tell us that –  Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health conditions experienced by people in Australia and tend to affect people during their prime working years (16 to 64 years).

It is paramount that this topic is discussed, and discussed in a meaningful way. The population of Australia, of your workplace, of your centre, of your household, need to have conversations – we all need to adopt the open dialogue, and let our friends, co-workers, family members, children and community know that it is OK to ask for help, and OK to talk about your feelings, and OK to be diagnosed, and more than OK to have an action plan in place.

According to the World Health Organization, mental health is ‘a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. ’ When a person has a condition that affects their mental health, they may have a mental illness or mental health disorder. This includes conditions such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

If someone couldn’t come to work because of a broken arm, or the flu, or diabetes, or chickenpox – this would be ok. Do you respond the same way if someone isn’t coming to work because they are suffering from an illness YOU can’t see?

A statistic from the report “State of Workplace Mental Health Australia” (2014) states – Around 90 per cent of employees think mental health is an important issue for businesses, but only 50 per cent believe their workplace is mentally healthy.

What does your workplace culture look like around these topics? Did you know it is against the law to discriminate against someone with an illness as such?

Research by Pricewaterhouse Coopers has shown that for every dollar you spend creating a mentally healthy workplace can, on average, result in a positive return on investment (ROI) of 2.3.

A report by Beyond Blue indicates that:

Organisations with a positive approach to mental health and safety have increased productivity, improved worker engagement and are better able to recruit and retain talented people.

Let’s not wait till a crisis occurs, or when the country has a “month” for it – let’s start conversations today – let’s remove the stigma. Ask someone if they are “OK”. The Education Gap has a great video and resource for Centres – be sure to check it out.

A few other great sites to assist in your knowledge and assisting people are –