An extension of our work at Workplace Harmony Solutions is our support of organisations which tackle mental health issues. Last month we had the pleasure of hosting a table at a business luncheon for headspace, a national youth mental health foundation dedicated to improving the wellbeing of young Australians.
The Geelong branch is operated by Barwon Child, Youth and Family and funds raised at the event, organised by the Rotary Club of Belmont, will be used to cover the salary of a youth counsellor for two years.
The lineup of guest speakers at the event was both impressive and inspiring. I was particularly moved by AFL footy legend Mark Eustice. Mark went through some tough times during and after his career with undiagnosed mental illness which in turn led to long-term drug abuse.
After some time his friends recognised his symptoms and, along with the AFL Players’ Association, supported him to go into rehab. This was successful and now he speaks openly about his bipolar depression and helps others to cope with similar issues.
Despite the frequent reports of drug and alcohol abuse among professional sportspersons, football clubs are better equipped now to recognise the signs of mental illness and stress and have protocols to deal with such situations. But as mental illness affects all sectors of the community we encourage all businesses to develop policies and protocols to accept and manage these issues rather than push them to the side.
An investment in the wellbeing of your staff is an investment in your business. Research from beyondblue and PwC has shown that “for every dollar spent on successfully implementing an appropriate action, there is on average $2.30 in benefits to be gained by the organisation.”
Financial benefits aside, there is also a substantial ‘community dividend’ that simply can’t be measured. Please join us in supporting organisations like headspace and beyondblue so they can continue with the outstanding work that they do.
Mark Eustice with Catherine Gillespie, Managing Director of Workplace Harmony Solutions
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