It is estimated that stress related absenteeism costs Australian business $10.11 billion per year.
Stress is known to be a trigger for mental illness and leaves us vulnerable to physical illness. In the workplace this results in increased absenteeism, presenteeism, interpersonal conflict, decreased job satisfaction, physical/psychological injury and loss of productivity.
So why is stress and workplace mental health not addressed?
The two main reasons are mental health illiteracy and stigma. I mean what is easier calling your boss to inform them you won’t be in due to a stomach virus or you have just had a panic attack?
MYTH- A mentally healthy workplace is Stress Free
This is unrealistic thinking -stress can’t be 100% eradicated. Business needs to change to remain financially viable further as humans we need to adapt to live a fulfilling life. However there are ways a workplace can reduce unnecessary psychological harm. In addition educating and supporting individual employees about stress and how to calm it is imperative.
Kim Elkovich – MD /Principal Consultant
Masters in Counselling, MBA, Post GradDip Psychology, BAppSc (Nursing)
Kim’s corporate career began at 22 years of age working as a sales representative within the pharmaceutical industry. Across 15 years Kim climbed the corporate ladder to hold both National sales and marketing roles. Whilst consulting for the N.S.W. Department of Health in 2004 Kim commenced her study in the field of psychology.
Now at 48 years of age Kim has combined both her corporate and clinical experience – running niche wellness programs for organisations. Kim also works (eight years) as a sessional academic within the Faculty of Health at the University of Newcastle.
Kim’s area of academic interest and PhD focus is employee moral distress and what constitutes an ethical environment. Further how can we create one to provide equity for all?