The Little Blue Book of Workplace Mental Health

September 9, 2019

Tim O'Brien - CEO

There is a quiet crisis in Australian workplaces that, for many workers, can too easily pass unrecognised.

Work-stress, excessive hours, prolonged heavy workloads, job insecurity, unreasonable demands, bullying and harassment are strongly linked to increased risk of depression and anxiety, and of substance-use disorders and suicide.

It is, in fact, a duty of employers to provide a safe work environment, free of avoidable risk of mental injury. ustralian workplaces, moredays of work are lost due to mental  than from any other illness, injury or hronic condition.

To assist workplaces to address this, ADA Australia is proud to offer The Little Blue Book of WORKPLACE MENTAL HEALTH.

Its aim is to promote examination of work systems, practices, work culture and environments and to provide easily-instituted solutions for fostering mentally healthy workplaces.

The upside is that a well-managed workplace – where people feel valued, supported and always safe – is not only beneficial to mental health and wellbeing, it is also good for productivity.

The Little Blue Book of WORKPLACE MENTAL HEALTH is designed to:

  • Provide practical information to workplaces on fostering mentally healthy work-systems and workplace cultures
  • Assist managers, team leaders and co-workers to recognise and understand disorders such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicide
  • Provide practical strategies for approaching and assisting co-workers who may be struggling with these disorders

Work stress ‘costs’: it costs business in absenteeism, disengagement and increased WorkCover claims, it costs the community through increased healthcare and social costs, it costs families, and it can cost lives.

For employers, the question to be asked is: “Can you afford not to invest in a mentally healthy workplace?”

  • As many as one-in-five Australians have taken time off work in the past 12 months because they have felt stressed, depressed or mentally unhealthy.
  • $8.0billion is the cost to Australian business of depression (and, of this, $693million is due to job strain or bullying).
  • Workers experiencing psychological distress, take four-times as many sick days per month as those not experiencing psychological distress.
  • This comes at a cost of $6309 per affected worker, per annum.
  • 91% of workers’ compensation claims involving a mental disorder are attributed to work-related stress or mental stress.
  • Of the Australian population, 14.4% will experience anxiety disorder over a lifetime; 8.9% will experience depression and bipolar disorder, and 5.1% will suffer a substance use disorder. (SOURCE: Safe Work Australia (Australian Workplace Barometer Project)

Business, the community, each of us, has a part to play in the solution. The Little Blue Book of WORKPLACE MENTAL HEALTH is for all at your workplace – for ‘the shop floor’, for managers and team leaders.

To secure your copy, call ADA Australia on 1300 378 429 or email:

Article by
Tim O'Brien - CEO