Depression is the leading cause of life years lost due to disability. At the same time, a worldwide trend of mental disorders displacing musculoskeletal conditions as the predominant reason for illness-related absences and work incapacity has been noted.
Although appropriate prevention strategies have the potential to reduce the incidence of new cases of depression, facilitation and roll-out of such interventions tends to be limited, sporadic, and unsystematic, in part due to a lack of structure within which to disseminate programs. Workplaces are uniquely placed to offer this structure as the workplace tends to be a dominant setting in the lives of most adults and while the workplace has been found to be a source of mental stress for individuals and a contributing factor for mental health issues, mentally healthy workplaces have also been shown to be protective against such conditions. Finally, there are specific financial incentives (due to the costs associated with mental ill health) for organisations to retain good employee mental health.
- Why workplace mental health matters
- What the best available evidence tells us workplaces should be doing
- What specific strategies are most effective
- What is currently being developed in this space
Mark Deady, Ph.D.
Post Doctoral Research Fellow, University of New South Wales
Dr Mark Deady has ten years research experience in the field of mental health and substance use disorders. In that time he has worked on a range of projects at a coronial, epidemiological, and clinical level. He was conferred his PhD in 2015 for his thesis entitled, 'Comorbid Depression and Problematic Alcohol Use in Young People: The Development and Evaluation of an Online Intervention.' Dr Deady currently works as a postdoctoral research fellow for UNSW Psychiatry in the workplace mental health team. He leads the employee arm of the Well@Work project. The project—a $2.88 million world-first study funded by beyondblue, with donations from the Movember Foundation—aims to develop a range of eMental health tools for workers and employers in high-risk male-dominated industries.