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coin icon with text $10.9 billion

Mental disorders result in lost productivity costs of $10.9 billion nationally each year.

PwC. (2014).Creating a mentally healthy workplace: Return on investment analysis. 

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Individuals not being appropriately supported can have a flow on effect to co-workers if problems continue to be un-managed e.g. without the right adjustments in work, an employee may require time off. This means co-workers have increased workload, and there are turnover costs from recruitment and training new employees when someone is taking time off or leaves the organisation. 

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The average costs of presenteeism (reduced productivity when working whilst unwell) far exceeds those attributable to absenteeism. Overall the average annual cost per employee associated with presenteeism was estimated at $1680. This is more than double the estimated cost of absenteeism.

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An Australian costing study found the greatest costs of depression among working people were incurred by employers (far exceeding healthcare costs), with turnover costs figuring more prominently than presenteeism and absenteeism costs.

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Some researchers have estimated that depression in the workplace costs the economy as much as $12.6 billion, with turnover costs contributing up to $8.93 billion.

LaMontagne, A. D., Sanderson, K., & Cocker, F. (2010). Estimating the economic benefits of eliminating job strain as a risk factor for depression. Melbourne: Victorian Health Promotion Foundation.

two coin icons with text =$3,200 and = $5,600

Mental ill-health costs employers an average of $3,200 per employee with mental illness per annum in absenteeism and presenteeism, and up to $5,600 for employees with severe mental illness.

coin icon with text $17.84 billion

Australian Workplace Barometer results suggest that approximately AUD$ 17.84 billion in costs to the employer could be saved if the mental well-being of the 25% least psychologically healthy working Australians could be raised to the level of the 25% most psychological healthy workers.

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Costs associated with not addressing psychological health and safety in the workplace can include costs and time related to: stress-related illnesses, absenteeism, presenteeism, turnover, short- and long-term disability, benefit utilisation rates, workers’ compensation claims, return to work and accommodation, employee and family assistance plan use, workplace grievances, workplace conflict, health and safety infractions, human rights violations, and adverse events.

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The increased engagement and staff morale associated with investment in mentally healthy workplaces will continue to contribute to a higher return on investment.

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Early intervention (specifically early identification and facilitating access to quality mental health care) is associated with a 492% ROI (calculated by comparing early intervention and treatment costs with subsequent reduction in absenteeism and improvement in work performance).

Whiteford, HA, Sheridan, J, Cleary, CM, & Hilton, MF (2005). The work outcomes research cost-benefit (WORC) project: The return on investment for facilitating help seeking behaviour. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 39(2).

coin icon with text $.30 benefits

For every dollar spent on successfully implementing an appropriate action to create a mentally health workplace, there is on average $2.30 in benefits to be gained by the organisation in terms of improved productivity and lower numbers of compensation claims.