Briefing paper

Working life and mental illness

19 Sep 2011


Most Australians with a mental illness receive little support or understanding at work – yet having a ‘mentally healthy workplace’ with positive, supportive attitudes to mental illness is the most important factor in successfully keeping a job and contributing to the workforce.

With one in five Australians experiencing some form of mental illness every year, they – and their families who provide support – form a significant part of the country’s workforce.

They receive far less understanding and support than they need, however – resulting all too often in stress, conflict, resignation or even dismissal. Yet better understanding and support for employees affected by mental illness not only helps them stay in work, it also contributes to more effective management of staff and resources for the employer.

This Research Bulletin asks about the experience of work by Australians living with mental illness, and what would help them to maintain successful employment.



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