Guiding and supporting mental health and wellbeing – Research theme
This research aims to understand how to build and maintain mentally healthy workplaces through developing new strategies to understand, prevent and reduce the risk of mental ill health at work.
Why this research is important
One in five Australians are likely to suffer a mental health condition at any given time, and nearly one third of Australians are affected by workplace stress.
Mental health is one of the biggest health challenges facing Australia.
The Productivity Commission’s Draft Report into Mental Health has estimated that its cost to the Australian economy could be up to $51 billion per year. However, for every $1 that a workplace invests in creating and supporting a mentally healthy workplace there is on average a $2.30 return.
These benefits are often seen through improved productivity when workers are engaged and satisfied at work and through reduced compensation claims when workers experience safe and healthy work practices.
We continue to add to the growing evidence-base on what employers, managers and workers can do to improve mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
Implementing work-related mental health guidelines in General PRacticE (IMPRovE)
This two-phase project is designed to develop and implement clinical guidelines for diagnosing and managing work-related mental health conditions.
The guidelines were developed during phase one and approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHRMC) in late 2018.
Together with our project partner, Monash University, we are now facilitating phase two of the project. This includes undertaking an intervention with general practitioners (GPs) in Victoria and New South Wales to implement evidence-based guidelines to diagnose and manage work-related mental health conditions.
Mental health coaching service (NewAccess)
NewAccess was developed by Beyond Blue as a low-intensity cognitive behaviour therapy (Li-CBT) for people experiencing mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression.
Following the success of its 2018-19 pilot trial, which saw a high participant recovery rate of 78 per cent, Comcare is leading NewAccess workplaces. This is a national mental health initiative available to Australian Public Service (APS) agency partners over a two-year period from mid-2020.