Media releases

Media releases and statements by Rachel Stephen-Smith

New role to better support mental health and well being in the workplace

July 12, 2019

The appointment of a dedicated psychological health officer will equip workplaces with the tools and resources needed to support the social and emotional well-being of working Canberrans. With one in five Australian adults experiencing a mental health condition in any given year, it's important that workplaces create an environment that is safe, positive and productive.

This appointment reflects the ACT Government's commitment to improving workplace mental health and suicide prevention.

Under the Work Health and Safety Act, workplaces have a responsibility to protect their employees' mental health and provide a safe and healthy environment. The psychological health officer will provide employees, managers and supervisors with support such as information sessions, accessible resources and training programs.

WorkSafe ACT inspectors will also receive training and access to ongoing mentoring for responding to psychological hazards.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety, Rachel Stephen-Smith:

"The ACT Government is proud to have an ongoing focus on mental health and well-being in the workplace. The appointment of a dedicated psychological health officer to work closely with workplaces and employees demonstrates our commitment to ensuring everyone has access to information, support and services to maintain good mental health.

"Promoting mental health and well being in the workplace contributes to employees' overall ability to interact with others, earn a living and enjoy life.

"Employers also benefit from cultivating positive, open and mentally healthy environments, including through increased staff satisfaction and productivity, and reduced absenteeism.

"The psychological health officer will work closely with workplaces to ensure they are equipped with the right tools and resources to promote mental wellbeing and minimise bullying, occupational violence and work-related stress."

"We encourage all employers and employees across all sectors to stay tuned for more information on upcoming presentations, workshops and further information related to workplace mental health and well-being."

Quotes attributable to ACT Work Safety Commission, Greg Jones:

"Workplaces have an obligation under the Work Health and Safety Act to provide a work environment that is physically and mentally healthy for all employees.

"It's important that workplaces understand and meet their obligations to help minimise psychological injuries and promote injury management and safety performance.

"To assist workplaces to develop the necessary skills to provide the right support, intervene early and take preventative actions, the psychological health officer will facilitate information sessions and offer guidance through online tools and resources."