mental health work

Half of Aussie workers feel mental health is overlooked at work, says ACAP survey

A recent survey has found that despite a growing emphasis on workplace wellbeing and inclusion, one in two Australian workers still lack confidence to bring their whole selves to work and feel lip service is being paid to their mental health.

Conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Australian College of Applied Professions (ACAP) in October 2021, the nationally representative survey of 1000 Australian workers revealed that 53 per cent of workers would hide a mental or physical health condition to avoid being judged or discriminated against, and that four in 10 don’t feel comfortable enough to be open about their personal interests, values, culture, or lifestyle at work.

“In an age where we are repeatedly told ‘to be ourselves’ and that ‘it’s OK not to be OK’ at work, these latest findings suggest that many Australians still feel very guarded in the workplace,” says ACAP CEO, George Garrop.

The survey also found that half of Australian workers feel their workplace has introduced mental health and wellbeing initiatives to ‘tick boxes’, while day to day, their manager shows little concern or empathy for their wellbeing.

“While over the past two years many organisations have boosted their mental health, wellbeing, diversity. and inclusion initiatives, our research indicates that these initiatives are not always leading to meaningful outcomes or positive sentiment for workers,” George says.

A lack of ‘people skills’ among managers and leaders was a key driver behind worker concerns, the research found, with 65 per cent of workers saying their manager struggles with soft skills.

The findings come as many Australian organisations scramble to quell potential staff turnover and critical skills gaps.

For more information, visit the ACAP website.

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