Mapping the State of Inclusion and Mental Health in the Australian Workforce

Mapping the State of Inclusion and Mental Health in the Australian Workforce

New research from DCA explores the impact that workplace inclusion has on mental health.

The report, Mapping the State of Inclusion and Mental Health in the Australian Workforce found that almost as many Australian workers reported that work had a negative impact on their mental health (31%) and as those who reported a positive impact (32%).

Graph showing 31% of workers reported their workplace had negatively or very negatively impacted their mental health in the last 12 months and 32% of workers reported their work had positively or very positively impacted their mental health.

The research, which draws on the findings of DCA’s Inclusion@Work Index 2021-2022 also shows that inclusion - whether in teams, leaders, or the organisational culture – is linked to better mental health at work. But ultimately, who we work with day-in-day-out has the most positive impact on our mental health at work.

Workers in inclusive teams are:

  • 7 times more likely than those in non-inclusive teams to report their workplace has positively impacted their mental health
  • 7 times more likely to report their workplace is safe and supportive for those with poor mental health compared to those in a non-inclusive team.

Chart: Workers in inclusive teams were 7 times more likely than those in non-inclusive teams to report their workplace has positively or very positively impacted their mental health in the last 12 months.  working in a non-inclusive team significantly increases the negative impact work has on mental health – 7 in 10 workers in non-inclusive teams reported their workplace negatively or very negatively impacted their mental health.

Importantly, our research shows that we do have an opportunity to better support employee wellbeing and break the stigma around poor mental health. But workplaces need to do more than just have ‘check-the-box’ policies and initiatives that support employees once they are experiencing poor mental health.

This report outlines a 4-step blueprint for employers and organisations to ensure their workplaces positively impact employee mental health, are a safe space for open and honest conversations, and an avenue to accessing support. 

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