MELBOURNE, Australia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–LifeWorks, a leading provider of digital total wellbeing solutions, today released its monthly Mental Health Index™, revealing a negative mental-health score among Australians for the 19th consecutive month.
- Overall mental-health score of -11.8 compared to the pre-pandemic benchmark, marking the first improvement after two consecutive months of declines.
- Nearly one-quarter (24 per cent) of Australians reported that work has hindered their mental wellbeing during the pandemic, an increase from 21 per cent before the pandemic. This group has a mental-health score nearly 13 points below the national average.
- Twenty-five per cent of respondents reported that they feel in crisis or have concerns about their ability to cope. These groups have mental-health scores more than 20 points below the national average.
Younger Australians, parents and managers are experiencing feelings of crisis and inability to cope with mental health concerns at a disproportionate rate:
- Thirty-six per cent of individuals under 40 indicate that they feel in crisis or have concerns about their mental health and their ability to cope, while only 15 per cent of individuals 50 and older report the same.
- Parents are more than 70 per cent more likely than non-parents to indicate that they feel in crisis or have concerns about their mental health and their ability to cope.
- Managers are more than 40 per cent more likely than non-managers to report the same concerns.
Comments from senior vice-president and managing director, Australia and Asia-Pacific APAC, Jamie MacLennan
“It is reassuring to see Australians’ mental-health score improve this month, however, the continued fluctuations in the working population’s mental wellbeing and concerns about their ability to cope reinforces the need for organisations to ensure that support for mental health is a priority. It is critical that employers not only implement tailored mental-health support systems and resources, but also that they are prepared to revisit these on an ongoing basis to ensure employees’ ever-changing needs are being met.”
Deteriorating workplace relationships have impacted mental health, isolation productivity:
- Eleven per cent of respondents report their experiences with work peers have not been positive since the onset of the pandemic, an increase of six per cent since before the pandemic. This group has the least favourable mental-health score (-31.1).
- Respondents who indicate their experiences with their work peers have not been positive since the pandemic began also report an isolation score more than four times lower than those who have had positive experiences with colleagues.
- Thirteen per cent of respondents report their experiences with their manager have not been positive since the pandemic began, an increase of four per cent since before the pandemic. This has resulted in a productivity score more than 17 points below the national average.
Comments from global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing, Paula Allen
“The pandemic has created a new working environment for employers to navigate. The changes have heightened strain on existing workplace relationships and in some cases, resulted in new tension in peer relationships. To build a healthier culture, it is important that employers acknowledge that there are more relationship and wellbeing risks now. This is a perfect opportunity for employers to focus on creating a positive workplace culture that prioritises employee wellbeing and fosters productivity over the long-term, rather than as a short-term solution during a crisis. This will allow organisations to achieve their full potential and build a post-pandemic workplace that is stronger than ever before.”
The full Australian LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ report can be found here. This month, the report includes additional insights on the impact of work on mental wellbeing, deteriorating physical wellbeing and more.
About the Mental Health Index™
The monthly survey by LifeWorks was conducted through an online survey from October 6 and 12, 2021, with 1,000 respondents in Australia. All respondents reside in Australia and were employed within the last six months. The data has been statistically weighted to ensure the regional and gender composition of the sample reflect this population. The Mental Health Index™ is published monthly, beginning April 2020, and compares against benchmark data collected in 2017, 2018, 2019.
LifeWorks is a world leader in providing digital and in-person solutions that support the total wellbeing of individuals. We deliver a personalized continuum of care that helps our clients improve the lives of their people and by doing so, improve their business.
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