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NSW government commits $55m to mental health sector

Mental health issues will be better managed in the workplace with the NSW government’s new initiative

The NSW government has announced a commitment of $55 million in next week’s budget to help the states workers cope with mental health issues.

The state government will be implementing a long-term ‘Mentally Healthy Workplaces in NSW Strategy 2020’ plan that will promote manager training and implement awareness tools to reduce the impact and severity of mental ill-health.

Minister for Mental Health, Tanya Davies, said the plan has demonstrated that the NSW government is committed to working with organisations to support mental health.

“By strengthening mental health supports available in the workplace we can better prevent mental illness and promote recovery,” Davies said. “Early intervention is a critical part of our comprehensive approach to improving mental health.”

The strategy was developed in consultation with people who have experienced mental ill-health; including workers, academics, advocates and industry representatives.

Minister for Better Regulation, Matt Kean, said that at any given time more than half a million NSW workers experience mental ill-health, adding: “With one third of adult life spent at the workplace, the workplace can play a big role in promoting mental health.”

The strategy will include an awareness campaign and online resources that will motivate and support businesses to create mentally healthy workplaces. On top of this, the plan aims to implement programs focused on prevention and recovery programs.

Woolworths has applauded the government’s budget plans, with Woolworths General Manager for Safety, Health and Wellbeing, Kevin Figueiredo, explaining that the psychological safety of staff is taken as seriously as physical safety.

“That’s why we’re pleased to see the NSW government invest in this plan,” Figueiredo said, adding: ”[This] will help make it easier for businesses to learn from each other, as well as leading experts in the field.”

The strategy will implement expert NSW guidance, collaboration and recognition to encourage and enable businesses to develop key strategies in addition to undergoing extensive research that would contribute to improving workplace mental health.

Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, added that the NSW government was fully committed to investing significant funds into workplace mental health.

“Mental well-being is central to a person realising their potential,” Perrottet said. “This record investment in workplace mental health has an enormous impact on an individual and the community as a whole.”

 

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