Workplace mental health resources by jurisdiction
Gone are the days when we had to hunt around to find information about mental health at work. Now, a more pertinent problem is how to distinguish between poor, average and excellent content.
In this article, we share mental health resources provided by Australian workers' compensation authorities, organised by jurisdiction.
Here, you'll find tools to assess psychosocial hazards at work, plans to take action and links to free advice and other resources. To the best of our knowledge, the information (and links) are current as of February 2022.
Please get in touch if we've missed something helpful - we'd love to add more high-quality resources to the list.
At the national level, Safe Work Australia (SWA) provides excellent information, including on:
- Work-related psychological health and safety: A systematic approach to meeting your duties ;
- Workplace sexual harassment;
- Workplace violence and aggression ;
- Fatigue ;
- Working from home;
- Workers compensation; and
- Return to work.
SWA also shares People at Work, a free online survey tool to help businesses identify and manage work-related psychosocial hazards and factors, producing risk assessment results that can be interpreted without the help of an expert.
Comcare brings together a number of excellent resources, including information that clarifies mental health responsibilities at work, descriptions of its own mental health initiatives, an explanation of mental health stigma and information to help managers support worker mental health and wellbeing.
Comcare has also partnered with Beyond Blue on a workplace mental health intervention, which you can read about here.
NEW SOUTH WALES
NSW offers a five-minute workplace pulse check to help businesses evaluate how they’re doing in relation to mental health compared to other businesses of the same size and industry, offering practical suggestions for improvement.
There are also free, specialised training options for workers, managers and business leaders, as well as one-on-one coaching for businesses.
More resources funded by the state can be found here.
Northern NSW-based Headline Productions received funds from SIRA to produce the Managing Minds podcast, which has so far looked at topics including managing burnout and having difficult conversations at work.
WorkCover Queensland shares a range of excellent mental health safety and prevention resources, with information on common problems such as bullying, violence, stress and fatigue. There are also practical tools such as a mentally healthy workplace toolkit and the People at Work psychosocial risk assessment process, which was initially developed in Queensland before landing elsewhere.
Return to Work South Australia provides a range of mental health resources for employers, including advice on how to make mental health an area of focus and a guide to getting the most out of the Heads Up website, which helps businesses develop strategies for a healthier workplace.
South Australia also has an important resource in the from of Mardi Webber, a mentally healthy workplaces consultant associated with Return to Work SA. Mardi was interviewed by RTWMatters a few years back and more recently shared pearls of wisdom with Danielle Mik.
In the public sector, South Australian organisations can draw on this research-based framework and toolkit to support mentally healthy work.
Resources provided by WorkSafe Tasmania include information about the costs and causes of mental ill-health at work, and links to the national People at Work tool.
Courtesy of the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and WorkCover Tasmania, Tasmanian businesses also have free access to Head4Work, an online training tool that helps workers, supervisors and managers understand how to reduce workplace mental health risks and support themselves and their co-workers when concerns about mental health arise.
Victoria has the Workwell program, supporting workplace leaders to prevent mental injury and promote safe and mentally healthy workplaces by providing access to tools and resources, funding and networking opportunities. There are user case studies and a free tool to provide organisations with practical resources, tools and information for preventing mental injury in their workplace.
More information for businesses is available via Business Victoria, which makes the case for more employer involvement in worker mental health and provides additional practical resources, including a version of Workwell designed for small businesses.
In Western Australia, the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has produced resources for managers and workers as well as an auditing tool to assist duty holders in meeting meet their work health and safety legal obligations as outlined in the Code of Practice Mentally Healthy Workplaces for Fly-in, Fly-out Workers in Resources and Construction Sectors.
There is also some general information available, including video content about the importance of mentally healthy workplaces.