NSW: ambassadors appointed to champion good mental health in the workplace

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Tuesday, 6 October, 2020 - 12:00
Policy & legislation
New South Wales

As part of SafeWork Month 2020, a number of prominent business and industry leaders have been appointed to help drive positive change by breaking down the barriers and stigma associated with mental health in NSW workplaces.

NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson and Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor recently announced the NSW Government has appointed 12 ambassadors to champion the importance of good mental health in the workplace.

Minister Anderson said the ambassadors will play a critical role in assisting the NSW Government meet its target of 90,000 business taking effective action to create work environments which benefit mental health by 2022.

“Statistically we know that one-in-six people struggle with their mental health, and I would suggest those figures are conservative given the current challenging social and economic environment,” Minister Anderson said.

“The ambassadors will work alongside us to send a message to employees in every corner of NSW that if you are struggling and need help, we will be there for you.”

Among the new mental health ambassadors are Landcom CEO and Lifeline Chairman John Brogden AM, National Farmers Federation President Fiona Simson and Westpac Group Chief Mental Health Officer David Burroughs.

Minister Anderson said there will also be financial benefits for businesses.

“The financial cost of mental health to NSW employers is $2.8 billion a year, but for every dollar invested into improving culture and outcomes for those living with mental ill-health, there is a return on investment of up to four dollars,” Minister Anderson said.

“Our ambassadors recognise that a mentally healthy workplace is good business, and have committed to continuing the great work they do to support their workers and to encourage others in their industry to do the same.”

Taylor said the event is another example of the NSW Government’s commitment to leading the nation in mental health reform.

“Most of us spend about one-third or more of our waking lives at work. It’s a huge part of what we do and can have a huge impact on our mental health in a positive or negative way,” Taylor said.

“Everyone in the workplace can contribute to a culture where people feel safe and supported to talk about mental health and it’s really encouraging to see so many leaders from NSW’s business sector stepping up.”