Mentally healthy workplaces

Mental health matters

Working in healthy safe workplaces and doing meaningful work, can help prevent mental ill-health.

It gives us a feeling of purpose and a sense of worth where we are challenged to do great things, meet new people, stay socially connected and encounter different ideas. It’s also our livelihood, providing a source of income and independence.

Getting back to work after illness or injury can help people recover faster, and is good for business. Access guidance and resources here.

Your greatest asset

Whether you create products or offer services, the productivity and success of your business depends on your people. In mentally healthy workplaces, managers understand this and they support workers to be their best every day.

The cost of doing nothing

Mental ill-health is likely to be present in your workplace, whether you see it or not — and workplaces that neglect mental health, lose money.

Absenteeism and presenteeism can create additional costs for employers through reduced productivity.

Presenteeism costs businesses an average of $3,401 per year for a worker experiencing mental ill-health and up to $5,305 for workers with severe mental ill-health1. Absenteeism due to mental ill-health costs workplaces about $825 per worker every year.

Actions to consider for your workplace

Most of us spend about one third of our life at work2. It’s a big part of our daily lives and can have a considerable effect on our mental health – in a positive or negative way.

  • Promote and encourage the use of support services.
  • Have access to tools and resources that enable managers and workers to learn skills to stay mentally healthy.
  • Monitor workloads, check for good work design and clear job descriptions. Adjust work to be safe for mental health, with realistic and flexible work schedules, reasonable adjustments to role type or tasks and rostering to prevent fatigue.
  • Find out what factors are affecting the mental health and wellbeing of your team.

More actions to build a mentally healthy workplace

Work is also an important part of the recovery process when pressures and stressors become too much and our mental health has been negatively affected.

Get started!

Is your workplace set-up to be flexible, supportive, healthy and productive?

Is it a place where workers feel safe, valued and engaged?


  1. UTS and the University of Sydney, Mentally healthy workplaces: a return-on-investment study, 2017.
  2. PWC and Medibank Health Solutions, Workplace Wellness in Australia, Aligning actions with aims: Optimising the benefits of workplace wellness, 2010.