My name is Dr. Andrew Wilson. I'm Executive General Manager for Provider Networks and Integrated Care here at Medibank.
I first became aware of the importance of workplace mental health through my work as a psychiatrist. It's obviously very important part of mental health. The link between mental health and productivity is extremely important. We know that probably 20 per cent of people in any workplace have mental health problems at any one time and that impacts on their productivity significantly.
Medibank's taken a holistic approach to mental health in the workplace. We've got a range of mind, body and spirit initiatives such as fruit baskets, bike user groups and the EAP Program for our employees for 24-hour support should they need it, and our new office has been designed specifically with mental health in mind. It's got green walls, sporting facilities throughout, and an edible kitchen garden. The role of a leader in creating a mentally healthy workplace is to promote awareness and importantly to promote a culture that allows people to take the steps they need to stay mentally healthy.
The advice I'd have to organisations that perhaps underestimate the importance of mental health in the workplace is simply don't. It's important for your employees' well being, their families, and also the success of your business. Mental health is an extremely important part of our wider approach to workplace health and safety. It's not only about creating awareness and supporting people who have mental health issues in the workplace, it's also ensuring it's embedded into the way we do business into all of our policies and procedures.
I think Heads Up can play an incredibly important role for Australian organisations and businesses. Mental health is the number one health issue facing Australian businesses at the moment. It's growing and Heads Up is a great way to start to address this.