Attacks On Mental Health Workers On The Rise

Illustration  Ravi Jadhav

HeadtoHealth.gov.au has gone live, timed to mark the beginning of Mental Health Week in Australia and World Mental Health Day (October 10).

Millions of British workers would shy away from discussing mental health issues with colleagues amid a fear they could jeopardise their career, it has emerged.

The Director of UWA's Centre for Transformative Work Design, Professor Sharon Parker, believes that; "poorly designed work can take a heavy toll on workers' mental health, whereas when work is well-designed, employees will not only be healthier but more productive as well".

Many recent studies have shown that exercise can be an effective way of helping to prevent and combat depression. This year's World Mental Health Day will contribute to taking mental health out of the shadows in the work place so that people and companies have the tools to help employees and increase the overall mental wellbeing of their workforce.

An important implication of this definition is that mental health is more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.

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"We want to turn management's attention to this blind spot", he said, adding there is more stigma attached to the words mental health than there is wellbeing.

Many previous studies have also shown how access to nature and green spaces can benefit health, with a 2015 study of USA adults findings that men in particular and those age 65 and above sleep better when they have access to nature, with better sleep linked to a lower risk of depression. It's a scandal that one in five young people are waiting longer than 18 weeks for mental health treatment and its unforgiveable that 17,000 young people have been turned away from mental health services in the last three years alone.

A separate report by the Mental Health Foundation found that people living with mental health problems contribute 225bn to the economy each year, something they say should make employers wake up to the need to protect that contribution.

Helping others has been found to have both physical and mental health benefits, with a 2013 review of 40 academic papers by the UK's University of Exeter finding that volunteers rated their levels of depression as lower and their levels of well-being and life satisfaction as higher than non-volunteers. A third of those surveyed by The Hoxby Collective said they suffered mental health problems as a direct result of working rigid hours, including stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia.

In the past year Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA) England has trained a further 65,000 people in Mental Health First Aid.