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Australians Using Sick Leave for Mental Health

Recent research revealed that Aussies took 3.74 million mental health days last year.
Published by, the research summarised a survey of 2,010 Australians that found 31% of workers used their leave for mental health or stress. It cost the economy more than $881 million – and that’s just in sick days.

Who takes time off for mental health?

The stats show that 36% of full-time workers (and 32% of part-time workers) take time off for mental health.
Alarmingly, 44% of Generation Y workers use their leave for mental health, compared to just 11% of baby boomers.
Another interesting revelation is that more women than men take days off for mental health or stress – 32% of women compared to 29% of men.

How can workplaces support staff?

Question is, what can workplaces do to help staff experiencing mental health problems?
"Employers are in a unique position to help employees with their mental health," said Graham Cooke, insights manager at Finder
"From encouraging flexible working arrangements to providing free counselling services there are many ways to address the mental health of their workers."
In fact, many Australian businesses are doing just that – by offering staff paid mental health days. Others have processes in place to spot staff who need support, and are at risk of overwhelm.
If you need to speak to someone, a counsellor or therapist is a good start.
You could also find someone to confide in at work, or contact Lifeline on 131 114 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636.

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