New effort to tackle working men suicide rate

By Jeff Salton on July 25th, 2017

The Victorian Government says it has invested $20 million to maintain its position as a world leader in health and medical research that has the power to change lives.

Part of that money – around $800,000 – will go towards a research project to find solutions to the high incidence of suicide in working men.

A four-year fellowship, granted to Dr Allison Milner, will be used to develop initiatives and strategies, in association with workplaces and the business community, to reduce the incidence of mental health and suicide rates in working-age men. One strategy is to link at-risk men to health services.

Victorian Government Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said: “It’s a sad indictment that too many men fail to seek help to deal with their mental health issues before it’s too late, and they often see suicide as their only recourse.”

According to the government, initial studies show stressful working conditions are a major risk factor for mental health problems and suicide among men. Dr Milner’s research aims to find the reasons and link workplaces into health services which can help.

The Labor Government says it is also investing in a range of suicide prevention measures across the State, by allocating $27 million over four years to the Suicide Prevention Framework.

“We’re determined to address suicide and a range of other health issues through our $20 million health and medical research program,” Ms Hennessy said.

At your workplace …

Mental illness is more common than most people realise. In Australia, one in six working-age people are living with a mental health condition at any one time. It is one of the leading causes of absence and long-term work incapacity, and costs Australian businesses $10.9 billion each year.

Unhealthy work environments, job stress and other psychosocial hazards can cause or exacerbate mental illness.

Mental Health at Work is a resource designed to help you identify, further understand and minimise the potential for mental illness in your workplace.

It explains your legal obligations in regard to mental illness and recommends ways you can work towards creating a mentally healthy work environment.

This 38-page eBook is written in clear terms by three leading advisers on risk management and workplace mental health. It will help you:

  • understand mental illness;
  • be aware of the effects of mental illness on your business;
  • understand your legal obligations in regard to managing mental illness;
  • identify mental health risks among your workers;
  • understand how to minimise mental health risks in your workplace; and
  • handle a situation involving a mental health issue in your workplace.

Positive effects

Information in the Mental Health at Work eBook can be used to help minimise the negative effects of mental illness in your workplace by taking a proactive approach to workers’ mental health.

Doing this has a number of benefits, including:

  • helping you to build your business’s reputation as an employer of choice;
  • helping you to attract and recruit the best workers;
  • reducing costs associated with unwell or absent workers;
  • reducing staff turnover;
  • achieving a higher return on investment in training; and
  • avoiding litigation, fines associated with breaches of legislation and industrial disputes.

Get your copy of Mental Health at Work today and start implementing some of the strategies recommended by the experts.

If you are concerned about the mental health of yourself or a loved one, seek support and information by calling Lifeline 13 11 14, Mensline  1300 789 978, or Kids Helpline 1800 551 800.

 





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