The $10.9 billion cost to Australia's economy that you wouldn't expect

Australian businesses are losing an estimated $10.9 billion a year to a problem that is rarely prioritised for workplace investment. That problem is mental illness.

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study found that the staggering cost could be avoided through effective workplace mental health strategies. In fact, it reported that for every $1 invested in mental health, businesses could expect to receive an average return of $2.30.

Poor mental health management can cost a business dearly through absenteeism, presenteeism (being at work, but not being productive) and compensation claims.

With one in five Australian workers experiencing mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, Australian charity beyondblue and the Mentally Healthy Alliance are using the research to demonstrate the need for their landmark workplace program Heads Up. The program will target business leaders and guide them in creating a tailored mental health action plan for their workplaces.

More information can be found at www.headsup.org.au.