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Still a way to go on mental health: SuperFriend

The financial and insurance services industry is one of the most thriving workplaces but there is still work to be done for mental health in the workplace, according to new research.

Mental health organisation SuperFriend's research: Indicators of a Thriving Workplace shows the industry surged from sixth place in 2019 to secure the second-highest overall thriving workplace score coming behind information media and telecommunications.

SuperFriend chief executive Margo Lydon said overall Australia's workplaces have moved closer to thriving which infers two things.

"Work is generally good for our social connections and mental health, and long-term sustained efforts to improve workplace mental health are starting to gain traction," she said.

SuperFriend surveyed over 10,000 Australian workers to measure the state of mental health and wellbeing, with this year's score increasing to 65.1 out of 100 from 62.7 in 2019.

Furthermore, mental health concerns are the most common reason for lower productivity in the workplace with three in five Australian workers claimed mental health concerns as the main reason for lower productivity this year.

The same statistic applies to those workers who experienced a mental health condition with more than a quarter of those had their first experience throughout the pandemic.

But worryingly more than half of Australian workers believe their workplace takes no action in their workplace to address mental health while 94% of workers believe their workplace would benefit from investing in mental health and wellbeing.

Lydon said lost productivity due to mental ill-health is estimated to cost the Australian economy between $10-18 billion every year.

"In light of this, taking action by investing in workplace mental health and wellbeing is not an optional extra, it's a must have," she said.

"With Australia's increasing awareness of workplace mental health and its links to productivity, combined with our radically transformed ways of working, I hope this marks a positive tide of change."

Read more: SuperFriendMargo Lydon
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