An increase in workplace mental health injuries

World Mental Health Day took place last Saturday, with there being a large focus on mental health in business.

Following from this, is startling information from Allianz – who found that 80% of employees are calling on their employers, to take action to address mental health.

Mental health related injuries in the workplace have increased by 80%, rising an average of 22% year-on-year since 2017.

The Allianz Future Thriving Workplaces findings show benefits paid to primary psychological injury claims are on average, up to four times higher per annum than for claims relating to physical injuries.

On average they take far longer to recover from than physical injuries, with 75% of primary psychological claims experiencing time off work, in comparison to only 50% of physical injuries.

Covid-19, a trigger for change

One in two managers surveyed say they now feel an increased responsibility for their employees’ mental health at work.

“As employers, we’re unequivocally concerned about our employees’ wellbeing,” says Chief General Manager of Workers Compensation at Allianz, Julie Mitchell.

“We know that improved mental health in employees across all industries greatly benefits employers and their businesses.

“Yet, the challenge now is to bridge the gap between awareness of mental ill-health in the workplace and taking action.

“We can’t take a scatter-gun approach,” says Ms Mitchell.

“Allianz is committed to empowering employers with the right knowledge, resources and initiatives to better support employees facing mental health issues.”

Commonly reported negative workplace behaviours:

  • Ineffective or unfair management (39% of employees impacted)
  • Workplace culture (33% of employees impacted)
  • Bullying and harassment (24% of employees impacted)
  • Organisational structure (24% of employees impacted)

Leadership-driven empathy

Australian employees feel the first step to mentally healthy workplaces, is starting a conversation around mental health.

Awareness days such as World Mental Health Day, or World Mental Health Month are a great place to start.

Mental health expert and collaborator on the Allianz Future Thriving Workplaces, Matthew Johnstone says, “Leaders can simply start with empathy, conversation, a good ear and a plan to properly address the emotional needs of their people.

“A company after all, is only as good as the people who work for it. Invest in them and they will deliver returns far greater than just profit.”

For more data, insights and tips, click here.

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