Workplace mental health introduction: part two

Factors which influence workplace mental health.



How this helps my business

If you've completed part one of the introduction – great work! You should now have a clear understanding of mental health and how it's relevant to your role as a business owner or leader.

This final stage of your introduction explains the different factors that are within an employer's control which can influence a workers' ability to thrive in their workplace.

Key stats and facts


Of working Victorians have admitted to leaving a workplace due to a poor environment in terms of mental health

Heads Up (Beyond Blue), Instinct and Reason – Employer of Choice study, 2014


Return on every dollar spent creating a mentally healthy workplace.

PWC, Beyond Blue National Mental Health Commission, 2014

Step 1

Workplace causes of poor mental health

Certain work-related experiences can negatively impact the mental health of workers. These include:

  • stress
  • bullying
  • fatigue
  • physical injury
  • violence, including family and gendered violence (including sexual harassment)

These can be caused by a number of mental health hazards, also known as psychosocial hazards. Psychosocial hazards can increase the risk of work-related stress and can lead to psychological or physical harm. Workers are likely to be exposed to a combination of psychosocial hazards. Some of these may always be present, while others occur occasionally.

Watch the video for an introduction to work-related factors and psychosocial hazards.

What are work related factors?

Step 2

Psychosocial hazards

The first step is to be able to identify issues or hazards so that you can take steps to manage the risk of harm, and prevent mental injury from occurring.

Below is a list of the common psychosocial hazards that can impact the psychological health of workers.

Step 3

Benefits of a mentally healthy workplace

Workplaces that proactively address these work-related factors and psychosocial hazards not only keep their workers safe but also see benefits to the business, including:

  • reduced worker absenteeism
  • increased productivity, output and engagement
  • improved workplace reputation – increased attraction, retention and customer base
  • improved workplace culture
  • increased return on investment and benefit to your business's bottom-line

The hidden cost of not prioritising a mentally healthy workplace

Research suggests that presenteeism (where an employee remains at work despite experiencing symptoms that result in reduced productivity levels) could be costing your business up to nine working days, per employee, every year.

When it comes to mental health, what's good for people is good for business too. In fact, for every dollar spent on a successful mental health initiative, businesses can expect to see a $2.30 return on investment (PwC 2014).

Visit Heads Up's Return on investment tool and find out how a business like yours might financially benefit from every dollar spent on improving workplace mental health.

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Disclaimer: The WorkWell Toolkit provides general information only. Please consider your specific circumstances, needs and seek appropriate professional advice.