Australia loses more than 9M working days per year from workers with mental illness, says new report

Young men suffering from mental illness in Australia lose more than nine million working days per year, says the report, ‘Counting the Cost: The Impact of Young Men’s Mental Health on the Australian Economy.’

“Mental illness in young men aged 12-25 costs the Australian economy $ 3.27 billion per annum or $ 387,000 per hour across a year in lost productivity,” says the report.

“The Federal Government bears 31% of this cost via direct health costs, disability welfare payments, unemployment benefits and the direct costs of imprisonment.

“Australia loses over 9 million working days per annum to young men with mental illness. On average they have an additional 9.5 days out of role per year.

“Young men with mental illness have much lower rates of educational attainment compared to their peers, further limiting their skills development and long term reduced earning potential by $ 559 million per year.”

To address these issues, the report recommends improving employers’ understanding of mental health, including the identification of disorders and awareness of support and referral services available. It also suggests initiating new partnership models between government, mental health service providers, NGOs, employers and business groups to create strategies that proactively support employees’ good mental health and ongoing engagement in the workforce.

The report also encourages enhanced reporting of government funded initiatives targeted at giving support to young men with mental illness to achieve full benefits of investment.

“Key objectives of these enhancements are to drive greater accountability of public spend and to provide better transparency and access to program performance and evaluation.”

OHS News

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