One in two Aussies think their workplace’s mental health and wellbeing initiatives just ‘tick boxes’ – World News

One in two Aussies think their workplace’s mental health and wellbeing initiatives just ‘tick boxes’

This $17b mark has greater visibility in workplaces, but Millennials and others believe that employers are not taking it seriously. Warning: Disturbing

Bianca Jones* works in the music world and while it sounds like a job filled with rock’n’roll glamor and outside parties, it’s actually an “industry that has been controlled by trauma” – weary, Outside full of stressed people and suffering from mental health issues, she said.

Yet he feels that his employer, with whom he has been with for five years, does not care about people’s mental health.

Over the past two years they have brought in a third party organization to start online workshops on topics such as stress levels, anxiety, trauma and various mental health issues, as well as managing your workload or dealing with conflict.

“I think it makes the company a whole lot better on paper that they are providing us with that kind of information and support, but the support is not present on an individual level. Instead of supporting the employees, the company as a whole is Looking good is more,” she told news.com.au.

“It is at the present time to tick a box because it is obviously such a big discussion point for large organizations that mental health is a factor and it is hurting a lot of people in workplaces, but for employees. There is no real support at a deeper level. ,

Ms Jones is not alone either. A couple of Australians – the equivalent of 5.8 million people – think their workplace has ‘tick boxed’ mental health and wellbeing initiatives, according to new research.

This includes a large segment of the younger generation, with 55 percent of Millennials and 53 percent of Gen Xers disappointed by paid lip service for mental health, according to research conducted by YouGov for the Australian College of Applied Professions (ACAP). has been found.

The survey also found that Millennials and Gen Xers in particular feel day-to-day that their managers show any genuine concern or empathy for their well-being.

Ms Jones, who was diagnosed with clinical depression at age 20, said it was her experience, despite being very open with her workplace about her mental health.

While her revelations were initially met with sympathy and understanding, she said it was not until managing the workload or following up with her later.

The 34-year-old, who has worked on events in the music industry, said the constant uncertainty and postponement due to COVID-19 has also added to her depression.

“I work with quite a lot of high-profile musicians and high-earning musicians, so the stress and pressure to work is enormous and it gets magnified by deadlines set by direct line managers or department heads,” she said.

“Over the past six months I have been unable to work on strict deadlines because I can barely get out of bed, let alone do such a high level of work, which is expected to be perfect when I first deliver.

“I’ve told them this and it’s been heard and heard in the moment but not really swallowed and a week later I have a two-hour deadline to change something which would take a whole day.”

A report published by The Australian Institute and the Center for Future Work indicated that 15 percent to 45 percent of mental health problems among employed people are due to the conditions in their workplace.

But when the Millennial says she’s raving about her mental health battles at work—so far she’s ready to go.

“I have been going through a very major depressive episode for the past six months and I am very open with my workplace but I am not completely open. I did commit suicide at some point but I did not disclose it because I And I didn’t feel comfortable doing that for fear of being treated differently in terms of dealing with my illness negatively,” she said.

Sadly, Ms Jones is not the only Australian with these fears. ACAP research has found that more than half of Australian workers will hide a mental or physical health condition to avoid justice or discrimination.

The research found that a lack of people skills among managers and leaders was a major driver behind workers’ concerns, with 65 percent saying their manager or boss struggles with everything from empathy to flexibility.

Ms Jones certainly feels this is a big issue in her workplace and said her direct managers often defer or “downplay” discussions about her mental health, prompting her to take a day off. calls for.

“It’s not a one day situation that’s going to fix it and there’s a lack of understanding about depression in general and mental illness in general and how to have those conversations effectively as a leader,” he said.

“There is not enough support or education for people at the top management and instructional level to effectively manage a person going through a mental illness, which is a big deal that is missing from our organization.”

Ms Jones said she has friends in law, retail and nursing who also feel the same way – with the resources given to “heal themselves” or worse they have to “send their feelings until the pandemic is over”. called to push”.

“I don’t get it. It would serve a company to deal with things in the moment because you’re going to make people more productive in the end if you really support employees through these times and help them deal with it.” give space for it,” she said.

“It’s not a way to work that ever existed before I thought, but hopefully it will over time. I don’t know how long it will take unfortunately.”

Another difficulty, she said, is that her organization is led by Baby Boomers and doesn’t have the same openness to mental health as Millennials and Gen Zs.

In addition to better training owners and managers, she’d also love to see people who are dealing with mental health battles share their experiences face-to-face with employees to help people understand.

ACAP CEO George Garrop said people were repeatedly told ‘It’s OK to be OK’, yet Australians still feel very safe in the workplace.

“While over the past two years, many organizations have promoted their mental health, wellbeing, diversity and inclusion initiatives, our research indicates that these initiatives do not always lead to meaningful results or positive sentiment for workers. ,” They said.

“The data also tells us that many Australian workplaces can do more to acknowledge the unique values, needs, personalities and circumstances of their people – and that managers and leaders through operating with key soft skills such as empathy The collective benefits can provide emotional intelligence and active listening.”

A 2020 Federal Productivity Commission report estimated that mental illness-related employee absenteeism and attendanceism cost Australian workplaces up to $17 billion per year.

*Name has been changed

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