Australian employees report poor mental health and high stress levels

Jul 17, 2015

Report finds psychological and physical health of Australian workers deteriorating, and the need to address these concerning trends.

A recent report on the mental and physical health trends of Australian workers shows employees are stressed, overweight, unfit and have a cholesterol or blood pressure problem. It also found that young working women were most at risk of poor mental health.

The Health Profile of Australian Employees report released in June by The University of Wollongong and Workplace Health Association Australia analysed the health characteristics of almost 30,000 workers gleaned from workplace health assessments over the past decade. 

Key findings include:

  • 16- to 24-year-olds are the most psychologically distressed age groups
  • 45.5 per cent of females reported moderate to high levels of psychological distress
  • 37 per cent of males reported moderate to high levels of psychological distress
  • 3 in 4 workers aged between 25 and 64 have moderate to high levels of stress.

Christopher Magee from the University of Wollongong, and lead investigator on the study, said the results are “concerning in terms of the apparent deteriorating psychological health of Australian workers”, and that this finding “emphasises the importance of addressing the rising cost and social impact of mental health problems to employers, communities and the health care system”.

What you can do about it 

The good news is that there are a number of simple, effective actions you can take to promote positive mental health in your workplace, and beyondblue’s Heads Up initiative gives individuals and businesses free tools and resources to take action.

For more information on how to take care of your own mental health at work and tips on understanding and managing stress, visit headsup.org.au/taking-care-of-your-mental-health

If you’re an employer and would like a step-by-step guide on creating a mentally healthy workplace, download your starter pack

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