We Need to Talk About Mental Health
Recently in the UK 50 business leaders called on their government to "bring mental health care in line with physical health and to make mental health first aid mandatory in all workplaces".
According to Mental Health First Aid England, one in six people of working age will experience mental ill health including depression, anxiety or issues relating to stress and this is estimated to cost the UK economy over NZ$65bn a year.
In a recent Safeguard article Nicole Rose (WorkSafe) talks about the challenges WorkSafe faces due to workplace harms (mental health), workplace bullying and harassment not being a priority in New Zealand or any other parts of the health and safety system. One of her reasons for this is due to New Zealand playing catch up to the rest of the world - its maturity. "As WorkSafe NZ approaches our fifth birthday in December we are just outgrowing our toddler stage..."
WorkSafe have focused mainly on acute harm (like mining, high hazard facilities) - yet 10 times more people are harmed in NZ each year from health related exposures, including mental harms, than are harmed from acute injury.
Nicole Rosie talks about starting from a low base and playing catch-up with the rest of the world - WorkSafe need to "engage, educate and enforce" within if they are to be taken seriously as regulators.
You must wonder if WorkSafe actually read and understand the information that is out there on sites such as IOSH, SIA and the Safeguard magazine - let's see what happens over the next few months.