Wellbeing stats in the Australian workplace

The state of mental wellbeing in Australian workplaces

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This page contains a snapshot of the state of mental wellbeing in Australian workplaces.

Mental health in Australia

  • Mental health is the 3rd biggest health problem in Australia.<superscript>1<superscript>
  • Anxiety disorders affect 1 in 7 people, and affective disorders such as depression affect 1 in 16.<superscript>2<superscript>
  • 45% of Australians aged 16-85 will experience a mental disorder in their life.

Mental wellbeing in the workplace

  • 25% of all Australian workers take time off each year due to stress.
  • Half of all psychological injury claims arise from stress.
  • Australian businesses loss $6.5 billion every year by failing to implement adequate preventative wellbeing measures.<superscript>1<superscript>

The business case: productivity

  • There is a 500% return on productivity for every dollar spent on supporting mental health conditions in the workplace.<superscript>3<superscript>
  • This translates to a $2.50 return on every dollar invested.<superscript>4<superscript>

Workplace perceptions

  • 9 in 10 Australian workers believe having a mentally healthy workplace is important.
  • 75% believe workplaces should be providing support for mental health conditions.
  • Alarmingly, only 1 in 2 perceive their workplace to be mentally healthy.
  • The majority of management recognises that mentally healthy workplaces are important (89%) but only 56% of employees perceive that management recognised this.<superscript>4<superscript>


1. Human Rights Australia, 2010 Workers with Mental Illness: a Practical Guide for Managers.

2. Australian Bureau of Statistics, One in five Australians have a mental illness.

3. Hilton M, Assisting the Return on Investment of Good Mental Health Practices as cited in Cowan G, Best Practice in Managing Mental Health in the Workplace.

4. HeadsUp & PricewaterhouseCoopers, Creating a mentally healthy workplace.