06 October 2016

Why your mental health issue is your employer’s issue

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Most of us will at some point experience a mental illness. It might happen when you least expect it, at a time when you thought you were on top of the world, invulnerable, invincible.  And then… BAM! You’re knocked down.

Or perhaps it slowly creeps up on you, chasing you, breathing down your neck. And no matter how desperately you try to escape it, a little depression monster has managed to suck out all your energy.

Perhaps mental illnesses run in your family, perhaps you are more vulnerable to any triggers. Or perhaps you have been exposed to a particular event, something that

Whatever the reason is, regardless of when it happens, or where it happens; the only thing that matter is that you’ve got support. That someone is there to pick you up from the floor.

As statistics show that one in two will experience a mental illness at some point in their life, employers need to be prepared to deal with their staffs’ mental health issues.  

When employees suffer from mental health problems, regardless whether it’s because of something going on in their private life or it is work-related, it is the employer’s obligation to support the employer. But it should also be in the best interest of the employer to do so from a financial perspective.

Often an employee will appear to have a performance issue, when in fact there’s a mental health issue that causes the employee to underperform. This ends up costing Australian employers $6.1 billion per year. Though if they understood the mental causes, they would be able to support and help the employee through their problems, while gaining improved productivity and save money.

It’s also estimated that Australian employers spend $4.7 billion on employees’ absenteeism, and more than $10 billion on work cover claims.

By looking after employees’ mental health, employers don’t only save money, but also gain better outcomes from their company because of improved productivity.

Mimmie grew up in Sweden and first came to Australia as a backpacker after high school. After travelling around the country for two years she returned to Europe and pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism in London. But the longing for Australia and the sun became too strong. After having worked for some time in the media industry, Mimmie decided to make a change and swap the news for conferences. She now gets to do what she loves the most, meeting new people and keep learning about cultures and issues while producing conferences on current topics.

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