Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 415. Updated Tuesday, 24 June 2014

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Drive for mentally healthy workplaces

Safe Work Australia is leading a joint campaign for better mental health in the workplace.

Safe Work Australia launched the Heads Up campaign last month and is encouraging business leaders to become involved in the Australian-first initiative.

The Heads Up campaign is a joint initiative by beyondblue and the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance, of which Safe Work Australia is a founding member.

Chief Executive Officer of Safe Work Australia, Michelle Baxter said the Heads Up website had recently unveiled a suite of resources and a kit to assist business to create mentally healthy workplaces.

Ms Baxter acknowledged the many benefits that a healthy workplace - both physical and psychological - could bring to an organisation.

Safe Work leads joint campaign

"While the attention is often on a workers' physical health, focusing on physical and mental health can have significant return on investments for organisations," she said.

"Ignoring mental health costs Australian industry billions of dollars each year through increased absenteeism, lower productivity and more compensation claims."

Ms Baxter said work health and safety regulators had resources that could assist organisations manage mental health in their workplace.

She said one of Safe Work Australia's contributions to the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance was the release of two fact sheets.

Ms Baxter said Preventing Psychological Injury Under Work Health and Safety Laws assisted people conducting a business or undertaking, and workers address psychological health risks to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all persons at work; and Workers' Compensation Legislation and Psychological Injury provided a general overview of the employer's role under workers' compensation legislation in relation to psychological injuries.

"I strongly encourage all employers and workers to seriously examine the physical and psychological health needs of their workplace and implement the practical risk management processes to minimise the mental health risks to workers," said Ms Baxter.

The first fact sheet can be found at this PS News link.

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