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As an employer or manager, you know your people are essential to the success of your business. Supporting them when they need it is really important.
Mental illness is largely an unspoken health issue, but it’s very common. With one in six New Zealanders diagnosed with a common mental illness at some time in their lives, your employees are highly likely to be affected - directly or indirectly - by a mental health issue.
Mental illness doesn’t just impact the person. It impacts families, communities and workplaces too.
The World Health Organisation predicts mental illness will be the leading cause of disability and absence in the workplace by 2030 if it’s not proactively addressed.
Positive mental health leads to more positive outcomes for employees, and better business results too.
“Worker wellbeing is good for business, and putting wellbeing at the centre of everything you do will grow your business and help attract and retain talent,” says Geoff McDonald, former Global Vice-President HR at Unilever.
“Leaders within organisations need to give the same level of attention and priority to mental health as they do to safety, and invest in training managers and employees on managing mental health.”
Since experiencing a massive panic attack ten years ago, UK-based McDonald has campaigned to put worker wellbeing at the centre of business, and to break the stigma associated with depression and anxiety in the workplace.
Geoff McDonald has some tips on how you can promote good mental health in the workplace.
Working well(external link) – Mental Health Foundation
Five ways to wellbeing at work(external link) – Mental Health Foundation
Geoff McDonald is giving a keynote address and masterclass at the conference of the Health and Safety Association of New Zealand (HASANZ) in September in Wellington, where he’ll talk about the emerging role of good mental health in the workplace and how it can be a competitive advantage.