Workplace stresses must be addressed

All employers and/or the Australian government should be funding workplace health and wellness programs, in my opinion.

In my quest to raise further awareness of mental health issues in our community I want to start the ‘Help Your Employees Achieve Better Health’ campaign.

I know there are workplaces out there which provide good health and wellness programs for their workers but there are plenty more which do not.According to Black Dog Institute:“Mental illness is now the leading cause of sickness absence and long-term work incapacity in the developed world. It costs the Australian economy over $12 billion per year in lost productivity.”

I read last week how assistant principals in Victoria were reluctant to step up to the top job because of the increased stress levels associated with the job of being a school principal.The story discusses the results of a study into workplace stress for principals in Victoria and reveals co-author of the studyMark Thompson, a former Victorian school principal, took his own lifein 2014 before the project was completed.The article reported that, “Workplace stress and abuse from a student’s parentwere believed to have had a part in hissuicide.”

Bullying in the workplace can also play a factor in the state of an employee’smental health. Again, I know plenty of workplaces have strategies to combat bullying but I still know of people who feel bullied at work.

Surely more workplace health initiatives can improve the mental health of some employees. Good health and wellness practices in the workplace can in some cases foster better working relations between employees,while improving theconfidence and mental health of individuals.

Another work-related stress that can affect one’s mental health and unfortunately is being seen all around us in Newcastle and the Hunter is job loss.It is not just the financial stress that losing your job creates, in my opinion it can also be the loss of identity that is felt.I know because my job was made redundant three-and-a-half years ago and that left me ‘just a mum’. Now before anyone pulls me up for that last comment, I am very grateful to have three beautiful and healthy children, buta career is also important to me.

When I was at school I always planned to go to university and to have a professional career in the media. I had that and it defined a large part of me for 14 years, so then to all of a sudden not have that part of my life plus the added challenges of being a new parent proved tough for me at times.

WORK IT: According the the Black Dog Institute, mental illness can have significant impacts on productivity, staff morale and organisational performance.

INITIATIVE: Good health and wellness practices in the workplace can in some cases foster better working relations between employees. Picture: Dallas Kilponen

When I researched what support was out there for workplace stress or job loss stress I found this link among other Australian Government services: humanservices.gov备案老域名/customer/subjects/looking-for-work. Hopefully it may be helpful for some of you.

Let us continue to think and talk about ways we can improve our mental health, because there are variousstresses facing many of us that may in the long term become a mental health issue.

Renee is a personal trainer, mother and writer. [email protected]老域名出售

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