The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2014-11-05T10:47:03Z MENTAL HEALTH OFFICERS ON RADAR FOR BIG WA COMPANIES 2014-11-05T10:47:03Z mental-health-officers-on-radar-for-big-wa-companies November 5, 2014 Media Statement MENTAL HEALTH OFFICERS ON RADAR FOR BIG WA COMPANIES Mental health will soon be a bigger issue than physical safety for managers, and large companies could hire dedicated mental health officers to help keep their staff resilient, according to a key WA business leader. Peter Fitzpatrick, who is also the Chair of WA’s Ministerial Council for Suicide Prevention, said the issue of how to boost workplace mental health would be front and centre at the Institute of Management Consultants 2014 National Conference on Resilience in Joondalup on November 13 and 14. “Too many WA companies are too busy cost cutting and searching for cheaper quotes that they’re dragging their feet when it comes to taking steps to supporting staff in staying mentally well,” he said. “Those businesses are failing to realise that spending a relatively small amount of money to boost the resilience of their workers through improving their mental health is going to help them stay profitable; research shows for every dollar spent on it, there’s a $2.30 return. “If a staff member with depression is, on average, taking one to two days off work a month and you can offer them greater support, they may be able to become not only healthier but also more productive.” An ABS study reveals Australian businesses lose $10.9 billion each year by failing to address mental health issues in the workplace comprising $4.7 billion in absenteeism, $6.1 billion in presenteeism and $146 million in compensation claims “Statistics suggest one in five workers are struggling to cope with the demands of their job and with depression and other mental illnesses on the rise, it is set to become a greater issue facing managers than physical safety on the job,” said Mr Fitzpatrick. “In the not-too-distant future, it may well make economic sense for bigger organisations to appoint dedicated mental health officers to look out for and manage the needs of staff in the same way that occupational health and safety officers do in terms of physical safety in the workplace. “For smaller companies, the human resources team or safety officer may take on the role.” Mr Fitzpatrick said awareness training and putting managers through mental health first aid courses were critical in helping businesses stay resilient while WA experienced a tougher economic climate. The Conference is on November 13 & 14. Please visit for details. -ends- Media Contact: Natalie Caudle,, 0407 984 435  FINDINGS SPARK CALLS FOR AUSTRALIAN FIRMS TO TACKLE RESILIENCE 2014-11-05T09:09:58Z findings-spark-calls-for-australian-firms-to-tackle-resilience October 24, 2014 Media Statement FINDINGS SPARK CALLS FOR AUSTRALIAN FIRMS TO TACKLE RESILIENCE New research revealing low levels of resilience amongst many Australian organisations and predictions of more turbulent economic times ahead have sparked warnings that companies need to urgently boost their ability to survive and adapt. South Australian organisational psychologist Kathryn McEwen, The Resilience Institute (Australia) managing director
 Stuart Taylor and New South Wales-based workplace mental health consultant Graeme Cowan – who will next month all be in Perth to present to the Institute of Management Consultants
2014 National Conference on Resilience – said public, private and non-profit organisations needed to re-think resilience. “Environments will continue to become more turbulent and demanding of employees and sustaining optimal performance will remain a challenge,” said Ms McEwen who recently returned from the UK where she addressed The Association for Business Psychology’s annual conference. “Building resilience in your staff and your organisation is about much more than just being better able to manage stress and change – it’s 
a mechanism for future sustainability and there are many proactive strategies that can be employed to better position for coming challenges rather than waiting for them to happen.”     Mr Taylor said recent research of more than 250 organisations, including 16,000 employees, conducted by The Resilience Institute, which was just now being made public, showed some organisations had developed strong resilience in dealing with emergencies, crises or setbacks.      “But the concept of resilience goes well beyond ‘bounce back’ to ongoing innovation, to meet and creating new and relevant stakeholder needs, as well as sustainable high performance,” he said.   “According to this broader definition, our research reveals many large Australian organisations across a broad range of sectors show very low levels of resilience.   “The key message for companies is that resilience should be a need not a want because it gives you a competitive advantage and in times of volatility, that is clearly crucial.” Mr Cowan said it was critical organisations acknowledged that building resilience wasn’t just about simply training staff. “Leadership is critical in resilience,” he said. “A recent Harvard research study of 19,000 employees worldwide found only one in four survey respondents believed their leaders model sustainable work practices but those leaders’ employees were 55 percent more engaged, 72 percent higher in health well being, 77 percent more satisfied at work, 1.15 times more likely to stay at the company and had more than twice the level of trust in their leaders.” Ms McEwen and Mr Taylor agreed many organisations don’t yet fully understand the need to change their expectation of the way their staff work. “Most workplaces still believe that for an employee to be a high performer they need to work at 100 percent intensity all of the time but that just breed burnout and disengagement and may promote mental health issues and staff turnover,” he said. “Sustainable high performance happens by aiming for 80 percent intensity and resilient organisations build strong rejuvenation practices into the work culture.” According to Ms McEwen, employees and teams were usually able to 'rise to the occasion' when needed but performing at high levels over extended periods came at a cost to wellbeing, retention and turnover.     “Recovery time, as with athletes, is necessary but generally not considered,” she explained.   “Embedding work practices that promote resilience is critical, especially when the demands and workloads being placed on employees are rising.”   Mr Cowan said: “It is heartening to see the Institute of Management Consultants is hosting a first-of-its-kind conference where the focus is entirely on employee and organisational resilience because building it is one of the key capabilities for any workplace.” The Conference is on November 13 & 14. Please visit for details. -ends- MEDIA CONTACT: Natalie Caudle, 0407 984 435