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During the week I came across the following editorial in the Daily Telegraph, my interest being piqued due to our own ongoing 'Anthill 20:20 Study'. I invested in further research, which in turn provided some of the insights gained from the Survey, as summarised. I have also added my own interpretation based on the findings, at the end of this Blog. 

Exclusive: ‘Toughen up and sort it out yourself’. (By Natasha Christian – Daily Telegraph – Thursday, September 12 2019).

‘Mental illness is still misunderstood in the workplace, with a recent survey of more than 1,000 Aussie workers showing many employers are failing to support their staff when it comes to mental wellbeing.

Almost 400 (39 per cent) said their employer “did nothing” when they reported their mental health issues and alarmingly, more than 70 workers said they were told to “toughen up” when they approached their boss with concerns.

The 'GO1 Workplace Wellbeing Survey', released today on R U OK Day, asked Australians to rate how well their employers protected the mental health of their staff.

Only a third of employees are comfortable talking to their manager about their mental health, with 16 per cent “uncomfortable” and 28 per cent “very uncomfortable”.

Alarmingly, only 28 per cent advise staff to see a doctor, and 40 per cent simply “do nothing”.

Instead workers are bottling their mental health issues, with 320 saying they felt they had no one to confide in at work.

Some said they turned to colleagues in times of stress (20 per cent), but only 18 per cent felt their boss was approachable.

This is despite the government’s Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIWH) report out this week showing 14 per cent of the country’s workforce still worked 50 hours a week or more and one in four people were struggling with loneliness’.

HOW AUSSIE WORKERS RATE THEIR EMPLOYERS (Survey of more than 1,000 workers conducted by Australian start-up GO1 in August 2019).

*Who do you talk to in your organisation regarding your mental health?

a) My Manager — 18%

b) Colleagues — 20%

c) HR — 10%

d) No one — 32%

e) Others — 20%

*How comfortable are you talking to your manager about your mental health?

a) Very comfortable — 17%

b) Comfortable — 16 %

c) Neutral — 23%

d) Uncomfortable — 16%

e) Very uncomfortable — 28%

*When it comes to mental health, my organisation:

a) Tells me to “toughen up” — 7%

b) Advises me to see my doctor — 28%

c) Refers me to our company Adviser — 16%

d) Refers me to HR — 10%

e) Does nothing — 39%

So based on the Findings from the GO1 survey, a top-level assessment could conclude that currently the Aussie Workplace is split between 40% of Employers being engaged in the Mental Health Wellbeing of Employees in the Workplace, to 60% of Employers being disengaged, even apathetic, towards the Mental Health Wellbeing of their Employees in the Workplace.

When we compare with this the findings to date from the Anthill 20:20 Study, we can see similarities between the current ‘Health’ in relation to Mental Health Wellbeing in the Workplace, which is seen to be bordering on ‘Healthy to Unhealthy’, with a Coefficient of Workplace Fulfilment of 27, on a scale of 20 to 44.

 Up to 22 = Fit; 23 -29 = Healthy; 30 - 36 = Unhealthy; 37 - 44 = Unfit

Also of interest is that in general the Employees surveyed prefer to discuss their Mental Health Wellbeing with ‘Colleagues and Others’ within their Organisation than they would directly with Management or Human Resources/People and Culture Departments. In fact only 1 in 3 Employees feel any level of comfort in discussing their Mental Health Wellbeing with their Manager.

However of greatest concern is the fact that 32%, in effect 1 in 3, of all Employees still do not engage in conversations about their own Mental Health Wellbeing, with ANYONE!

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