New reports released on workplace mental health in Australia

Two new research reports published by Safe Work Australia present the latest findings on the prevalence of workplace bullying and harassment; and the impact of management commitment to psychological health and safety and poor mental health in the workplace on organisational productivity.

The ‘Psychosocial Safety Climate and Better Productivity in Australian Workplaces: Cost, Productivity, Presenteeism, Absenteesim’ report presents an estimate that productivity losses associated with low levels of management commitment to psychological health and safety in the workplace comes at a cost to employers of $6 billion per annum.

The ‘Bullying & Harassment in Australian Workplaces: Results from the Australian Workplace Barometer project 2014/2015′ report provides information on the prevalence of bullying and harassment in Australian workplaces. It reports an increase in the estimated prevalence of bullying in Australian workplaces, from 7% in 2009-10 to 9.7% in 2014-15.

It is not clear why there has been an increase in the estimated prevalence of bullying, however it is worth noting that findings are based on self-reported bullying and it is possible that growing awareness and recognition of mental health in the workplace (including bullying) has contributed to the increase.

These two reports use data collected from the Australia Workplace Barometer (AWB) project, a longitudinal study operating since 2009 that observes workplace trends in psychological health.

To find out more information, please visit the Safe Work Australia website – www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au