Wellbeing relates to a person’s overall health and happiness. Given the prevalence of mental and physical ill health in society today, there are important steps that individuals and their workplaces can take to ensure wellbeing is being addressed.
Wellbeing facts and statistics
- Many factors predict and influence a person’s overall wellbeing. These include genetics; lifestyle choices; diets; exercise; relationships; social participation; primary health; mental health; physical safety; presence or absence of trauma; geographic location; access to health care; and support networks.
- Difficult work conditions can impact on wellbeing. These include jobs that carry safety concerns and physical stressors (e.g. mining, farming, construction); involve trauma or exposure to others in trauma (e.g. emergency services); require fly-in-fly-out/drive-in-drive-out; and workplaces with challenging cultures or where stigma about mental ill health are prevalent (this can be the case in many male dominated, blue collar industries).
- 1 in 5 Australians experience a mental illness in any given year, and almost half of Australians will experience an episode of mental ill health over their lifetime.
- While illicit drug use and smoking figures have seen a positive decline, both activities continue to contribute to various wellbeing and social concerns.
- Over 60% of Australians are considered to be obese and consumption of junk food and poor diets are a major a contributing factor.
- A higher percentage of Australian workers report “very long” work hours compared to the average worker in other OECD countries – this statistic is particularly high for men.
- Every workplace has an ethical and legal obligation to provide fair and safe work conditions.
How workplaces can support wellbeing
- Understand how staff wellbeing impacts your business and your staff, and facilitate opportunities to develop healthy behaviours and protective factors. These include healthy eating; drinking water; participating in exercise; social interaction; positive conversations; rest, sleep and recovery; finding work life balance; and reducing workplace pressures and stressors.
- Empower and support employees to grow their knowledge, skills and protective tools through education and awareness about all the factors impacting on physical, mental and emotional health.
- Recognise the role that wellbeing plays in mental health and suicide prevention – establish an environment and workplace culture that emphasises social connection, trust, belonging and support.
- Implement screening tools that help to identify health and wellbeing issues being faced by staff, and follow up with options for support.
- Gain access to data and benchmarking information to track the mental, physical, social and emotional wellbeing of your workplace and compare the wellbeing of your workplace with similar organisations.
OzHelp’s role in supporting wellbeing
Through OzHelp’s tailored and holistic workplace programs, we engage with workplaces across industries to provide practical, evidence-based support options for employers and staff. We focus on high risk and hard to reach industries and community cohorts – reaching people who may otherwise not get the support they need.
OzHelp utilises an approach that includes screening and education around general wellbeing as an avenue for identifying and addressing more serious issues such as mental illness and suicidality.
- Our programs include an embedded mix of options:
- Health and wellbeing screening;
- Training and education workshops;
- Face-to-face and telephone counselling; and
- Referral pathways to other professional care.
- Priority industries and communities include:
- Blue collar, male dominated industries with high rates of mental distress and ill health;
- Professions with prevalence of trauma;
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities;
- Regional, rural and remote communities – including farming and drought affected areas; and
- Any industries or workplaces at heightened risk of suicide or mental ill health.