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Health and Wellbeing
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07 Nov 2013

Bosses lose sight of the big picture

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Many bosses and workers have lost sight of the mental health and productivity benefits of taking a break, says beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO.

“3.8 million people routinely don’t take a lunch break,” according to a joint The Australia Institute and beyondblue survey conducted in the lead up to this year’s Go Home on Time Day (November 20th 2013).

Half of the people who don’t take a break say they are too busy.

And 72 per cent of those who usually take a lunch break eat their lunch at their desk or cut short or postpone their break until mid-afternoon, the survey said.

“It’s great that people are committed to getting the job done, but it is sensible to take a break away from your desk or the production line to exercise and think about other things,” Carnell said.

“A regular walk at lunchtime improves both your physical and mental health and you will resume work feeling refreshed.”

For more details, visit Go Home on Time Day.

Published on 7 November 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

10 Oct 2013

Stigma alive and well

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Some 69 per cent of people feel uncomfortable disclosing to their employer that they have a mental illness, says a World Mental Heath Day study.

The Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA) conducted the study in the lead up to today’s World Mental Health Day.

The study also found that 35 per cent of people said they would never disclose they had a mental illness, while 29 per cent said they would disclose a mental illness.

Some 22 per cent of the people also said they had experienced or witnessed discrimination in the workplace due to mental illness.

“These results demonstrate that some people have a real fear about potentially negative consequences should they tell their employers and their colleagues that they are mentally unwell,” MHCA CEO Frank Quinlan said in a media statement.

“The reality is that for the vast majority of people with a mental illness, openness and conversations do help employees, employers and workmates to contribute through meaningful and successful employment.

“We need to have a goal for our society to make it acceptable for individuals to talk about mental health in the workplace and to make it ok to seek help when they need it, without fear or stigma.”

Many people also believe schizophrenia, depression, bipolar and anxiety reduce a person’s ability to do paid work, according to the study.

For more details, visit the study.

Published on 10 October 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

Stepathlon is a 100-day race around a virtual world – it encourages activity in a simple, inclusive and fun way to complement hectic lifestyles.  Stepathlon aims to break the ‘cycle of sedentary behaviour’ and transform the sedentary into active, and the active into more active.

The event commences on 12 September and concludes on 20 December 2013.  Build your team of 5 and each team member gets a 3D accelerometer (like a pedometer, but much more advanced so you can wear it around your neck), backpack and cap.

Stepathlon was co-founded by Shane Bilsborough, also one of the founders of the Global Corporate Challenge, an event he started in 2002 before leaving to start Stepathlon in 2011.  Shane is also the Chief Wellness Officer of the Australian arm of the Stepathlon event.

In 2012 there were over 21,000 people (including 42 CEOs) from 20 countries in Stepathlon, and 2013 is shaping up to be even bigger and better.

For more information on building your team of 5 to join the Stepathlon community please visit or contact Shane Bilsborough at or 0415 842 057.

Asking workmates if they are okay contributes to health and wellbeing and suicide prevention.

World Suicide Prevention day is on 10 September, and this year’s theme is Stigma: A Barrier to Suicide Prevention.

‘In Australia each year, 2,500 people die by suicide and over 65,000 will attempt to take their life,’ says Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA).

Sue Murray, CEO of SPA, wants Australians to speak openly about suicide and create a community where people give and seek help.

To support this goal, SPA has partnered with ‘R U OK?Day’, including ‘R U OK? at work’, which will be held on 12 September.

‘There’s … an emerging body of research which links supportive social relationships and a sense of social connection with protective factors in suicide prevention,’ says the R U OK? website.

‘With workplaces feeling the impact of lost productivity, absenteeism, presenteeism and high job turnover, taking time to regularly and meaningfully ask ‘are you ok?’ is something we can all do to increase individual and workplace wellbeing,’ the website adds.

If you need immediate help and support call Life Line on 13 11 44

For more details, visit World Suicide Prevention Day and R U OK? at work.

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