NSW budget: record investment in workplace mental health

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NSW budget: record investment in workplace mental health

Workers will be better supported in the workplace thanks to a $55 million NSW Government investment in mental health initiatives.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies today announced the Mentally Healthy Workplaces in NSW Strategy 2022, a long-term plan for mentally healthy workplaces.

“This Strategy represents the single-biggest investment in workplace mental health in the country’s history,” Mr Kean said.

Mr Kean said the Strategy was developed in consultation with people who have experienced mental ill-health, workers, academics, advocates, and industry and worker representatives.

The plan includes manager training and recovery at work programs, research projects to help inform ongoing strategies, a media campaign and online resources to raise awareness, as well as assessment and mentoring tools to better support businesses.

“At any given time, more than half a million NSW workers experience mental-ill health, which is just a staggering statistic,” Mr Kean said.

“With one third of adult life spent at work, the workplace can play a big role in promoting mental health, and reducing the impact and severity of mental ill-health.”

Mr Perrottet said the NSW Government was fully committed to investing significant dollars in workplace mental health.

“Mental well-being is central to a person realising their potential. This record investment in workplace mental health has an enormous impact on an individual and the community as a whole,” Mr Perrottet said.

Mrs Davies said today’s announcement demonstrated the NSW Government’s commitment to work with a range of organisations to better support people experiencing mental health issues.

“By strengthening mental health supports available in the workplace we can better prevent mental illness and promote recovery,” Mrs Davies said.

“Early intervention is a critical part of our comprehensive approach to improving mental health in our cities, rural areas and regional centres.”

Woolworths, who employ more than 60,000 people across the state, applauded the Government’s investment and commitment to mentally healthy workplaces in NSW.

“At Woolworths we treat the psychological safety of our teams as seriously as we do their physical safety. Like many businesses, we’re trying to create a workplace where people know it’s ok not to feel ok, and that it’s ok to ask for help,” Woolworths General Manager for Safety, Health and Wellbeing Kevin Figueiredo said.

“That’s why we’re pleased to see the NSW Government invest in this plan, which will help make it easier for businesses to learn from each other, as well as leading experts in the field.”

The Strategy will include:

  • An awareness campaign and online resources that motivate and support businesses to create mentally healthy workplaces;
  • Programs, focused on prevention, training and recovery, which improve workplace mental health and provide a positive return on investment;
  • Expert NSW Government guidance, collaboration and recognition to encourage and enable businesses to manage mental health in the workplace; and,
  • Extensive research to increase understanding and contribute to the development of initiatives that improve workplace mental health.

Businesses who want to get involved in the program will be able to partner with SafeWork NSW to access tools and resources to make their workplaces mentally healthy.

For more information on the Strategy, visit www.safework.nsw.gov.au or call 13 10 50.

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