Abbott Government urged to focus on mental as well as physical health of Australian workers

30 September 2013

The University of Sydney's high-profile Happiness, Health and Wellbeing at Work Conference is this year expected to call on the Abbott Government to give priority to mental health in the workplace as it conducts its promised review of mental health services.

The annual conference, organised by the University of Sydney Business School's Workplace Research Centre (WRC), is also expected to highlight some of the causes of mental illness amongst workers, including vicarious trauma suffered by those who work with trauma victims.

A long-time campaigner for action on workplace bullying, Josh Bornstein of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, will be a key conference participant, highlighting the importance of managing vicarious trauma in the workplace

"During the election campaign, the Coalition promised a review of our mental health system. We believe that there needs to be a focus on mental illness in the workplace, which impacts on the lives of individuals and on productivity," said WRC Director Professor John Buchanan.

The Department of Defence will participate in this year's conference for the first time, as will Hunter Valley aluminium manufacturer, Tomago Aluminium, which recently won a national workplace health award for an obesity-related project.

"While mental health will be a feature of the Conference, the physical wellbeing of workers is also essential, and the Conference will look at the role of the workplace when it comes to healthy lifestyles," said Professor Buchanan.

"Importantly, this Conference will bring together academics who are expert in this field as well as people with practical industry knowledge and experience," he added.

Conference Details
Date: Thursday 3 October
Time: 9.00AM to 5.00PM
Venue: Wesley Conference Centre, 220 Pitt Street, Sydney

See the full agenda on the Conference website

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Media enquiries: Katie Szittner, 02 9351 2261, 0478 316 809,