25 September 2023

New officer for wellbeing at work

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A new psychological health officer is to be added to the staff of WorkSafe ACT to support the social and emotional wellbeing of working people in the Territory.

Announced by the Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety, Rachel Stephen-Smith, the initiative is part of a commitment to improving workplace mental health and suicide prevention.

Ms Stephen-Smith said that with one in five Australian adults experiencing a mental health condition in any given year, it was important that workplaces created an environment that was safe, positive and productive.

“Under the Work Health and Safety Act, workplaces have a responsibility to protect their employees’ mental health and provide a safe and healthy environment,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“The psychological health officer will provide employees, managers and supervisors with support such as information sessions, accessible resources and training programs.”

She said WorkSafe ACT inspectors would also receive training and access to mentoring for responding to psychological hazards.

“Promoting mental health and wellbeing in the workplace contributes to employees’ overall ability to interact with others, earn a living and enjoy life,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

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

Commissioner for ACT Work Safety, Greg Jones (pictured) said it was important that workplaces understood and met their obligations to help minimise psychological injuries and promote injury management and safety performance.

“The psychological health officer will facilitate information sessions and offer guidance through online tools and resources,” Mr Jones said.

Ms Stephen-Smith 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 wellbeing.

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