It is estimated that 45% of the Australian adult population experiences some form of mental health episode in their lifetime. Transferred through absenteeism, presenteeism, and compensation claims, mental health presents a significant cost to most, if not all, Australian organisations.

In conjunction with Beyond Blue, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have recently released a report that delves into the return on investment for organisations can achieve when investing in a mentally healthy workplace. They have estimated that mental health costs Australian organisations close to $11 billion per annum, comprising of $4.7 billion in absenteeism, $6.1 billion in presenteeism, and $100 million in compensation claims.

The change and uncertainty that currently presides the Australian economy only accentuates this issue. We are inescapably consumed by the reporting of ‘bad news,’ and it is little wonder why this cost is so high. So, as an organisation who must bear these costs, how are you supposed to manage the inevitable?

The correlation between the uncertainty that arises from changing economic circumstance and the substantial cost of mental health to the Australian economy is undeniable. This PwC report reinforces a number of initiatives that Choice Career Services have long advocated as a means of helping organisations manage the human impact of change.

These initiatives include:

  • Coaching and mentoring programs
  • Resilience training
  • Encouraging employee involvement
  • Worksite physical activity programs

What this report has also brought to light is the potential to generate a Return on Investment (ROI) of approximately $2.30 for every dollar spent on these initiatives. Given the considerable ROI that ensues, isn’t it time we started to consider these types of healthy initiative investments rather than costs? You won’t lose too many arguments over this with your CFO!

If you are interested in exploring further ways to manage change and reduce the costly impact of mental health in your own organisation, please contact us for more information.