Demystifying Mental Health

Events - 10 Oct 2012

45% of Australians aged 16–85 years will experience a common mental health-related condition - 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing.

In recognition of Mental Health Week (7 -14 Oct), this seminar provided leaders from all levels within the public and community services ways to identify mental illness in the workplace, outline strategies for leading through mental health, and highlight the clear productivity imperative of a healthy workforce.

Mental Health Commissioner Eddie Bartnik highlighted the statistics of mental health in Australia with up to $10,000 per year being spent on direct and indirect cost of mental health in the workplace, per full time employee. "A healthy, well supported, functional workforce are critical to dealing with mental health". The Commissioner also identified the change of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) in involving the community and public sector agencies.

Louise Howe provided a unique perspective on dealing with her own personal journey of mental health issues and the value of a support group such as Grow. "Settle for the order of lesser things for the sake of order in greater things, ie, don't sweat the small stuff," Ms Howe said. 

Dorothy Lavell and Angela Martinovich highlighted the type of support required for dealing with mental health in the workplace and the factors influencing mental health conditions including sleep, family conditions, relationships, work and life events.
"Recommending an EA program is not helping your staff deal with mental health. Provide support with some scaffolds and let the individual choose from the options," Ms Lavell said.
Absenteeism + lost productivity = $9,660 per full-time employee with untreated depression p.a. ($650,000 p.a. per 1,000 employees)
Source: Caleo & Hilton, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, 2004

Recommended Public Service Training

A brief introduction to common (and not so common) mental health conditions which might present in the workplace. Participants will develop an understanding of signs and symptoms of mental health conditions, and learn strategies for managing people with these conditions. Community resources will also be discussed. 


Why Mental Health Matters: Mental Health and Productivity in the Workplace

Eddie Bartnik
Mental Health Commission of Western Australia


Resilience: Is it the Antithesis of Support?

Dorothy Lavell
Oars Across the Waters


You don’t have to be mad to work here...but that’s how I got the job! 

Louise Howe
WA Mental Health Commission


Decision Points in Leading Through Mental Health 

Angela Martinovich
Specialist Psychologist (Clinical and Forensic) and Principal Psychologist 
Martinovich Psychological Services



Download Dorothy Lavell's presentation

Download Angela Martinovich's presentation 

Photo Gallery

Commissioner Eddie Bartnik Commissioner Eddie Bartnik Commissioner Eddie Bartnik
Louise Howe, WA Mental Health Commission
Louise Howe, WA Mental Health Commission Dorothy Lavell, Oars Across the Waters Angela Martinovich, Psychologist
Angela Martinovich, Psychologist