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Executive mental health survey highlights the need for Movember

Movember is shown to be an important initiative with a recent survey of 300 male and female senior executives and business leaders showing a need for greater investment into depression and mental health services for men in Australian workplaces.

With mental health a particular focus in November – thanks to the men’s health initiative ‘Movember’– CEO and senior executive leadership organisation The Executive Connection (TEC) asked its members about the barriers men experienced in seeking help for depression.

Of the executives surveyed, 64 percent said being unable to recognise the symptoms of depression and other mental illnesses was one of the biggest barriers men faced. Nearly a quarter of respondents noted that pride also played a role in preventing men from diagnosing and treating their depression.

Overwhelmingly, 93 percent of TEC members agreed that men find it difficult to discuss their problems and feelings with others.

Harvey Martin, Dynamic Business blogger and Regional TEC Chair, Victoria called for business leaders to overcome the taboo of talking about mental health and depression within the workplace.

“According to Beyond Blue and the National Depression Initiative, depression is currently the leading cause of non-fatal disability in Australia. Each year, undiagnosed depression in the workplace costs Australian business $4.3 billion in lost productivity,” Mr Martin said.

“Regardless of your role or pay packet, it’s important to have access to a peer support network where you can talk openly about issues affecting you. Avoiding a mental health issue in the workplace can have devastating consequences, for the individual, their network of friends and family, and for the business itself,” Mr Martin said.

To better address the problem, 73 percent of CEOs would like to see more government investment in services for depression and other mental illnesses in the workplace.

Nearly half of respondents (46 percent) said support for mental health should come from peer support networks established within the workplace, with 30 per cent agreeing that independent organisations could do more to address the issue.

In response to the survey’s findings, TEC CEO Chris Gorman said TEC is focused on providing member groups with expert speakers who would discuss the recognition and management of mental health issues in the workplace and at home.

“TEC provides a support network for its members. Where health issues arise, TEC encourages members to seek the help needed to deal with these issues,” Mr Gorman said.

“It is an essential part of good management and leadership to make sure that mental health is high on the agenda of your organisation.”

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David Olsen

David Olsen

An undercover economist and a not so undercover geek. Politics, business and psychology nerd and anti-bandwagon jumper. Can be found on Twitter: <a href="http://www.twitter.com/DDsD">David Olsen - DDsD</a>

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