Mental Health

Mental health is different to mental illness

Mental health is about your state of mind and overall wellbeing. Feeling good about yourself, having a positive outlook on life and your current situation are all features of being mentally healthy.

Having poor mental health is not the same as having a mental illness. Mental illness is a professionally diagnosed disorder, such as clinical depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. Read what the experts say about the difference between mental health and mental illness.

Staying mentally healthy

Staying mentally healthy is important for our home, work and social lives. Having good mental health helps us to better cope with everyday stress and unexpected traumatic events. It helps us build and maintain good relationships, pursue opportunities and contribute to our family, business and community.

Maintaining good mental health doesn't need to be expensive or time consuming. It's about taking the time to rest, relax and do activities that we enjoy.

Creating a mentally healthy workplace

There are many benefits of creating a workplace environment that promotes good mental health. Some of the benefits for small businesses may be:

  • reduction in staff absenteeism from poor mental health;
  • financial savings as a result of less absenteeism; and
  • increased productivity amongst employees.

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Coping with mental illness in the workplace

There are a number of myths about mental illness which contribute to the stigma around mental illness. Stigma about mental illness is detrimental to the productivity of workers with mental illness, which will adversely impact on the whole business.

It is important for small businesses that employ people with mental illness to provide the appropriate support to these employees. Employers who have strategies in place are in a better position to support their employees during episodes of mental illness.

  • Sane Australia offers guidance to businesses who want to support their employees through their mental illness.
  • This is an online program that educates employers about mental illness and provides useful online guides for the workplace and managers.

Small business should be aware of first aid techniques to assist people suffering from mental health episodes whilst on the business' premises. It is also useful for businesses to know what services for mental illness exist in their local area.

The National Workplace Program, run by beyond blue, provides a number of workshops to assist staff and managers increase their knowledge and skills to address mental health issues in the workplace.  For more information on how your business can benefit from this Program, contact Beyond Blue.

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