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A focus on mental health training: Is your organisation equipped to support your workforce?

by on November 27, 2019 in News & Events


There’s no doubt that mental health issues in the workplace can be costly.

For organisations, these costs can be measured in days off work, staff turnover, poor quality work and lack of employee engagement – often known as ‘presenteeism’.

For employees, there’s the personal anguish which can take its toll and lead to loss of a job and income, or worse.

There’s also a recognition that organisations that take care of their employees are attractive places to work. Building a more resilient workforce and creating a positive workplace culture can enhance the reputation of the organisation. It might even make an organisation more profitable.

Figtree Conference Centre has recently hosted a number of mental health training sessions for organisations keen to prepare their managers and workforce to deal with these issues. In this article, we discuss why mental health issues in the workplace are a concern and what you can do about it.

More organisations are deciding to take action to prevent mental health injury at work

Mental illness touches us all.

  • Around one in five Australians experience a mental disorder each year. In NSW that amounts to 1.3 million people. 1
  • Another quarter of the population are at risk of developing a mental illness – that’s 1.8 million people.
  • 244,000 will experience a severe mental illness and 80,000 will be carers of people with mental illness.
  • 45% of Australians between the ages of 16-85 years of age experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.2

Many workplaces are getting involved by supporting initiatives like R U OK Day.

Some organisations are recognising the importance of organising training programs for their managers and supervisors on how to recognise signs of mental health distress. They also learn how to take measures to prevent the problem occurring the first place and how to offer help to their staff.

Many organisational leaders are seeing the benefits of nurturing their staff. They’re also understanding the costs of not taking responsibility and putting in place appropriate measures to help their employees.

Lucinda Brogden, AM recently spoke at Flourish Australia about the importance of building stronger communities and workplaces. Mrs Brogden is Chair and Commissioner of the National Mental Health Commission.

In a recent newspaper article, Ms Brogden described her view of how mental health is currently dealt with in Australian workplaces:

“What we find across the board when we deal with organisations is, they understand they have an obligation, they are just not as clear as what they have to do to meet that obligation.

“We need to educate them, support them in initiatives, provide risk assessment support and treatment support.”3

The benefits of supporting better mental health in the workplace

According to leading consultants PwC, the return on investment (ROI) of better workplace practices around mental health are real and significant. Partnering with Beyond Blue, they produced a report: Creating a Mentally Healthy Workplace

These were some of the report’s findings:

  • For every $1 spent on implementing effective action, there was an average benefit of A$2.30 gained by the organisation.
  • These benefits were seen in productivity gains, reduced absenteeism and presenteeism, and fewer compensation claims.
  • Employee participation had a positive effect on the benefits to the organisation and the individual. The PwC study found that smaller organisations were often more effective with these programs because it was easier to involve everybody.

To gain the benefits, an organisation’s leaders must be committed to improving the culture and mental health of their organisation.

Flourish Australia is now helping employers deal with mental health in the workplace

For over 60 years, Flourish Australia has been a strong advocate for people with a lived experience of mental health. They’re a specialist in building inclusive workplaces and communities where mental health and well-being thrives.

The organisation now runs specialised training workshops, leadership mentoring and implementation of peer support or programs to help organisations create healthier workplaces.

Their training programs will help your team better understand mental health, know your duty of care and build your organisation’s capacity.

We offer:

  • Workshops which provide practical training for managers and staff.
  • Leadership mentoring and consultancy to support business leaders in their programs.
  • A Peer Support Program which facilitates early intervention in situations where workers may be at risk of experiencing high levels of anxiety or psychological distress.

Learn more about Flourish’s workplace mental health training here or call our training coordinator on 02 9393 9000.

If you would like to enquire about holding your training event at Figtree Conference Centre, please get in touch with our Venue Coordinator Sue O’Rourke on 02 9393 9051 or send her an email.

We’re located in the heart of Sydney Olympic Park, with plenty of free parking, free Wi-Fi and we’re also close to transport.


  1. NSW Ministry of Health. 2018. NSW Strategic Framework and Workforce Plan for Mental Health 2018 – 2022
  2. PwC/Beyond Blue. March 2014. Creating a Mentally Healthy Workplace – Return on Investment Analysis.
  3. The Courier. July 27, 2019. Focus on Mental Health and Well-being in the Workplace.
  4. News.com.au 4 October, 2019. Article: Mental illness is smashing Australia’s economy to the tune of $60 billion