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11 Oct, 2012

Unhappiness at Work – Too Difficult to Overcome?


Canberra, Comcare Media release – 10 Oct 2012 — Dreading coming to work and stressing out at the prospect of another day of unhappiness in the workplace is one of the reasons for an increasing number of mental health claims in Australia. Comcare mental stress claims at work have increased by 23 per cent since 2008. Bullying claims increased from 32 per cent in 2008/09 to 44% in 2009/10.

Comcare CEO Paul O’Connor believes it is important that employees have a sense of purpose at work. “Without that sense of purpose, without feeling wanted at work and part of a team, anyone can feel depressed and unhappy. Every one of us needs the reassurance that their work is making a difference. People are naturally motivated by progress, a sense of being part of a team that looks out for each other is so important.”

Mr O’Connor said while he is concerned at the rising number of mental health claims and the reported cases of bullying, the emphasis needs to be on the positive. “That emphasis needs to be on good work. Good Work is work that is well matched to people’s skills and aspirations. It can be an environment of trust and respect where individuals make a difference providing them with a sense of social connection and support. A good job can mean a good life. Good work is vital for sound mental health and well-being.”

Mr O’Connor said there is also a big link between physical and mental health. While exercise is important, surveys have revealed that it is often a simple conversation at work that relieves stress.

“Connecting with colleagues at work is so important. Talking to each other, even about stressful situations, can often relieve stress and over time can turn a ‘bad’ job into a good one”, Mr O’Connor said.