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CEOS Commit to Improving Employee Mental Wellness & Psychological Safety

  • Written by icare

icare and R U OK? will today hold their inaugural Senior Leaders Workplace Mental Health Breakfast at 7:30am at the Westin in Sydney, to launch a world-first study[1] into psychological safety[2]. The study showed that 36 per cent of employees aged 25 to 34 were most concerned about making mistakes at work being held against them, compared to only 12 per cent of workers aged 45 or older. Senior business leaders also committed to implementing change in the workplace off the back of these results.


Opened by the NSW Minister for Mental Health, the Hon. Tania Davies MP, the event brought together more than 200 CEOs and senior leaders from Australian corporations, the public sector and NGOs to understand and define “Why Mental Health Should be at the Top of Every CEO’s Agenda”.


R U OK? Board member and workplace mental wellness expert Graeme Cowan said: “A key takeout from the study was the positive impact of creating workplaces where leaders strive for a more inclusive, caring and resilient culture. This requires senior leaders to build a common methodology to measure and monitor peer-to-peer support and wellbeing in the workplace - something that R U OK? is keen to help facilitate.


“R U OK? will be reaching out to business leaders, the mental health sector and other key stakeholders to help co-design a coordinated, meaningful framework to tackle this serious issue.


“A caring culture is good for business. The universal factor which determines whether people feel engaged at work is whether they feel their manager cares about them as a person and their wellbeing”, Mr Cowan said.


icare CEO Vivek Bhatia said: “As a social insurer, we are focused on injury prevention, recovery from workplace injury, and sustainable and safe return-to-work outcomes. icare has a bias towards action in creating more mentally healthy workplaces across our community and a focus on holistic wellbeing at work.


“People are our most valuable asset. To that end, every leader in our community has a responsibility to make psychological wellbeing a significant goal and ensure they have a workforce which is healthy, engaged and productive,” Mr Bhatia said.


R U OK? also unveiled a new video showing why a range of Australian CEOs regard employee mental resilience as equally important to business growth. The video features vox-pops with icare CEO Vivek Bhatia, former CEO of Jetstar David Hall, Carnival Australia Executive Chair Ann Sherry, AIA Insurance CEO Damien Mu, WorkSafe Victoria CEO Clare Amies, and R U OK?’s Graeme Cowan.


Organisations who attended the event were from: icare (Insurance & Care NSW), Ernst & Young, PwC Australia, Lendlease, Capgemini, CBA, Westpac, NAB, ING, AIA Insurance, EML, QBE, the Black Dog Institute, Virgin, Bayer, Core Logic, Altius Group, BridgeClimb and the NSW Mental Health Commission.


R U OK? was a beneficiary of the Senior Leaders Workplace Mental Health Breakfast hosted by icare.


Tune into icare’s Facebook Live Event from 7:30AM of the R U OK? Senior Leaders Workplace Mental Health Breakfast.


Watch R U OK?’s video on Why Mental Resilience Should be on Every CEO’s Agenda.



About icare

icare (Insurance & Care NSW) is a Public Financial Corporation governed by an independent Board of Directors that delivers insurance and care services to the people of New South Wales. icare’s Board is directly accountable to the Hon. Dominic Perrottet MP, NSW Treasurer.


icare is a social insurer that puts its customers at the heart of all that we do.


icare’s purpose is to protect, insure and care for the people, businesses and assets that make NSW great.

Our vision is to change the way people think about insurance and care services by providing world-class services for people, businesses and the community


icare is one of the largest general insurers in Australia, with $33 billion in assets and insures 3.4 million workers and 284,000 employers across NSW.


Whether a person is injured in the workplace or on our roads, icare supports their long-term care needs to improve quality of life outcomes, including helping people return to work.


For more information, visit: www.icare.nsw.gov.au


About RUOK 

R U OK? is an Australian suicide prevention charity.


Our mission is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with the people around them and to support anyone struggling with life.


We’re most well-known for our national day of action, R U OK? Day, on the second Thursday in September (14 September 2017). For more information, visit: www.ruok.org.au


[1] [1] Conducted by Colmar Brunton for R U OK?, the Australian Workplace Psychological Safety Survey was based on an independent online survey of 1,176 Australian full-time and part-time employees across all states and territories in March, 2017.

[2] The concept of “psychological safety” originated from Amy Edmondson, Professor of Leadership & Management from Harvard Business School and is defined as a team climate characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people are comfortable being themselves.

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