Bringing mental health to work

Lisa Simcock, ECU Reporter

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The Transformative Work Design Centre at UWA has partnered with The Mental Health Commission (MHC) to help raise awareness about mental health for employees in workplaces across Western Australia.

The State Government is giving $500,000 to the partnership to allow UWA researchers to promote positive mental health and wellbeing via assessment tools, training modules, educational materials and other resources.

The funding will be following the new WA Workplace Mental Health Standards that have been made by the Mental Health Commission as part of the achievement of the Suicide Prevention 2020 Strategy.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, on average one person dies every day by suicide in WA, with people in regional areas more affected.

In 2015, the suicide rate was 13.8 per 100,000 people in the greater Perth area and 19.8 per 100,000 people for the rest of the State.

Minister for Health, Roger Cook, said that; “with one in five of us experiencing mental health issues in any given year and the many hours we spend at work, it is critical that workplaces know how to create environments that help their employees thrive.

“Workplaces have the potential to impact on people’s mental health both positively and negatively.”

The Director of UWA’s Centre for Transformative Work Design, Professor Sharon Parker, believes  that; “poorly designed work can take a heavy toll on workers’ mental health, whereas when work is well-designed, employees will not only be healthier but more productive as well.

“The funding from the MHC will allow us to invest much needed time and resources into research and working with employers as part of the [email protected] project to create well-designed work that stimulates and engages employees while supporting the implementation of new WA workplace mental health standards,” she added.

UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater believes that the partnership will have a real impact.

“It is vital that the University’s research is focused on outcomes that improve society and impact positively on people’s lives and this is just one example of research making a difference,” she said.

If you or anyone you know is going through a hard time and needs support you can call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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Bringing mental health to work