Australia begins putting more focus on mental health for employees
As our sister site Business Review Australia previously wrote, Mining and finance giants throughout Australia have been urged to provide more information on how they support mental health of their employees.
This comes as result of a new report by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI), which discovered Australia lags behind other countries in this area.
Recently, investors began applying increased pressure on Aussie companies to focus on the economic and financial costs of mental health, which could eventually lead to higher insurance claims as well as decreased productivity.
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ACSI chief executive Loiuse Davidson believes providing more information on mental health is important for assisting investors to access environmental, social and corporate governance issues.
“A lack of reliable and comparable disclosure of corporate performance, beyond that contained in traditional financial reporting, can undermine effective communication of these longer-term measures of business success by company boards to their owners,” said Davidson.
The research found about 30 per cent of large mining and financial companies release little information regarding mental well-being support of its staff and the effectiveness of the programs it incorporates.
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In the finance industry, which reportedly has an above average rate of self-stated mental health problems, about a third of companies surveyed had data on staff turnover, while 25 per cent had numbers on workforce satisfaction.
In addition, about 60 per cent of financial businesses had either good or moderate disclosure in those areas, compared to 87 per cent of similar companies in the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, the mining industry has also begun conducting more research into mental health of its workforce due to the constant strain on fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) employees’ personal lives. While over half of the mining companies have well-being programs, only a few disclosed details on worker satisfaction, absenteeism, turnover and overtime.
After a recent string of nine suicides by FIFO workers in Western Australia over the span of a year, a parliamentary company recommended that mining companies begin using “even-time rosters” for FIFO workers. It was found that mental health problems within the FIFO workforce was at about 30 percent, which is significantly higher than the nation’s average of 20 percent.
Studies show that fatigue is among the main reasons for the large percentage of workers. Although the mining industry employs nearly 150,000 people across Australia and is very profitable, it is also among the most challenging for its workers.
Dexcom: changing the lives of people with type 1 diabetes
It is estimated that 9.3% of adults around the world are living with type 1 diabetes, which amounts to a total of 463 million people. A further 1.1 million children and adolescents under the age of 20 are living with the condition.
Unlike the more prevalent type 2 diabetes, where the body still produces insulin and symptoms develop slowly, people with type 1 diabetes need regular insulin injections or pumps, and must monitor their sugar levels frequently.
In recent years a number of remote glucose monitoring systems have become available that patients can use at home. These work with a sensor, usually placed under the skin, that measures glucose levels every few minutes. This information is then transmitted wirelessly to a device like a smartphone or tablet, which can then be shared with their clinician.
British actress Nina Wadia's son Aidan, 14, has type 1 diabetes, and has been managing his condition using Dexcom, a glucose monitoring system used by patients all over the world. Here Wadia explains how Dexcom has improved their lives.
As a parent of someone with type 1 diabetes, what is your day-to-day life like?
Being able to take a breath, think and pivot constantly without getting frustrated becomes an essential mindset because sometimes it feels like each day is determined to be different from the day before. Whatever worked yesterday is going to misfire today.
Which areas of yours and Aidan’s life are most impacted by diabetes?
The one thing that you have to fight hard to reclaim is spontaneity, especially when it comes to food and exercise. It’s only when this is taken do you realise how essential each one is. You can be flexible and there are no real limits, but only in the sense that a great athlete can be flexible without limits because they’ve trained super hard to be that way. So we’ve all had to become athletes when it comes to being spontaneous.
How has Dexcom helped you and Aidan?
Dexcom has brought future science fiction to real life today. The continuous glucose monitoring system is tiny, sits discreetly on his body and gives him a ten-day breather between sensor changes, so it's goodbye finger-pricking seven times daily.
Dexcom is totally active at a grass roots level and for Diabetes Awareness has pledged to donate £2,000 if #DexcomDiabetesStories and/or #DexcomWarriorStories is shared 200 times! I’ll be sharing more on social media and would love to hear how other families are winning their fights.
Maybe most importantly Dexcom is trying to introduce a reimbursement programme for type 1 diabetes patients which will give greater access to modern, life changing hi-tech. I want to spread the word on the importance of accessing it through this campaign.
If you compared your life today with how it was before Aidan was using Dexcom, what has changed?
It's always working, which lets him take his mind off diabetes for longer stretches. It also lets me get off his back. We both receive alerts so I no longer have to pester him by asking him what his number is, and especially importantly, I don’t have to wake him at night to prick his finger if I’m worried. Dexcom gave us back our sleep!