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Providing a mentally healthy workplace not only protects workers from psychological harm, it positively enhances their mental health and can improve business productivity.

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Work-related mental disorders take a huge toll on worker health and productivity, with the negative impact felt by individuals themselves, their families, and colleagues.

The typical time off work for a work-related mental disorder claim is 15.7 weeks, three times higher than for all other compensation claims. Work pressure, work related harassment or bullying, and exposure to workplace or occupational violence are all significant causes of work-related mental disorders.

This infographic looks at the rate, type and causes of work-related mental disorders in the workplace, to help us focus on how to reduce these statistics.

Data from the infographic

On average each year between 2010–11 to 2014–15:

  • 6 per cent of all serious workers compensation claims were for work-related mental disorders.
  • 7,020 Australians were compensated for work-related mental disorders.
  • The typical time off work with a serious work-related mental disorder claim was 15.7 weeks, three times higher than for all other serious claims.
  • 92 per cent of serious work-related mental disorder claims were attributed to mental stress.
  • 42 per cent of serious work-related mental disorder claims made by males, 59 per cent by females.

The occupations most at risk of work-related mental disorders were:

  • Defence force members, fire fighters and police – 16 per cent
  • School teachers ­–  15 per cent, and
  • Health and welfare support workers – 13 per cent.

The main causes of serious work-related mental disorder claims were:

  • Work pressure – 23 per cent
  • Work related harassment or bullying – 20 per cent, and
  • Exposure to workplace or occupational violence – 11 per cent.

Note: ‘Serious’ workers’ compensation claims relate to those claims where the injury or illness has resulted in one or more weeks off work.

Who is this seminar for?

This infographic is relevant to employers, supervisors and workers interested in mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

Work health and safety professionals, researchers, support services and other business stakeholders seeking to improve the mental health of workers may also be interested.

About the presenters

All statistics for this infographic have been sourced from Safe Work Australia’s National Data Set for Compensation-based Statistics.

Additional resources

Support services

  • R U OK?:  provides guidance and resources to help start life-changing conversations and prevent suicide.
  • Heads Up : provides business information that demonstrates how to identify mental health risks and implement control measures.
  • Beyond Blue:  has a series of videos on how businesses of varying types and sizes have created mentally healthy workplaces.
  • SANE Australia:  has a suite of mental health resources for businesses and organisations.
  • Farmlink: has a range of mental health resources for people working in rural and regional areas, particularly farmers.

This site is undergoing constant refinement. If you have noticed something that needs attention or have ideas for the site please let us know.

Last modified on Tuesday 20 February 2018 [8891|68806]