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Mental Notes

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Employers and managers/supervisors play an important role in helping to reduce mental health-related stigma.

Find out how you can take reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risks to the psychological health and safety of your workers and promote a mentally healthy workplace.

Stigma explained

Mental health-related stigma consists of the negative stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination towards people experiencing mental health issues, including those living with a diagnosed mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression.

Stigma in the workplace can:

  • lead to discriminatory behaviour, including bullying and harassment
  • affect people’s attitudes and beliefs towards those struggling with experiences of mental ill-health (including themselves)
  • prevent those with experiences of mental ill-health from feeling safe to disclose and seek support from their manager/supervisor and others around them.

An open and inclusive workplace, where workers feel safe and supported to seek help early, is better for everyone.

How managers and supervisors can help reduce mental health-related stigma

Supportive and responsive managers and supervisors understand the needs of their workers and help to break down the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health issues.

Managers are generally responsible for supervising and supporting worker health and safety.

The way you interact with your workers can affect their mental health. Given their role and influence, managers and supervisors are generally expected to also model safe work practices to workers and other managers.

Even in times of change and uncertainty, your role as a manager/supervisor is to manage, lead and support workers to understand and meet Work Health and Safety (WHS) policies and procedures.

Most people with mild to moderate mental illness are able to stay at work but may require some adjustments. When you understand and support your workers’ needs early, you help improve recovery time and reduce the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health issues.

As a manager, you play a vital role in supporting your workers' mental health and wellbeing.

Enhance your capability as a manager and keep up to date through these simple and practical resources, fact sheets and conversation guides on how to reduce mental health-related stigma and improve psychological wellbeing in the workplace.

Your workers have a role to play too

Your workers also have a responsibility to take reasonable care of their own health and safety, and those of their co-workers and others in the workplace.

Support your workers to understand their role which includes complying with any reasonable instructions, policies and procedures you give them, including those aimed at reducing mental health-related stigma at work.

Communications kit

Download these resources to find out more about mental health-related stigma and how you can help to prevent it in your workplace.

Practical resources for managers and supervisors



Creative materials

Check inMake a mental noteYou can lead the way in creating a healthy workplace that recognises and prevents mental health stigma.

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Page last reviewed: 21 November 2023

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Date printed 25 Apr 2024