Impact of PNDA in the Workplace
Like any health condition, perinatal depression and anxiety can affect a person’s ability to function at work.
Perinatal depression and anxiety can have a significant impact on all aspects of the sufferer’s life. At work they may be unable to concentrate, make decisions or get things done. They may feel out of control, extremely tired and stressed.
If not identified and treated, perinatal anxiety and depression can prove costly for employers as it can result in higher rates of absenteeism, reduced productivity and lower return to work rates.
A report by Deloitte (2012) found that the majority of economic costs attributable to perinatal depression result from lost productivity in the workplace and estimated these costs to be $310 million in 2012 for Australian businesses. ¹
The good news is that organisations can take action! PwC research in 2014 shows a $2.30 average return on investment for every $1 invested in creating a mentally healthy workplace. ²
Promoting good mental health in the workplace benefits everyone, executives, managers, employees and business owners. A well implemented plan can improve staff morale and engagement, lower staff turnover, ensure legal and ethical obligations are met, improve productivity and enhance business reputation.
Research commissioned by beyondblue in 2014 indicated that 9 in 10 Australian employees believe mentally healthy workplaces are important. But only 5 in 10 employees believe their workplace is mentally healthy. ³
There are both social and economic advantages in creating a workplace where good mental health is valued. Many working parents struggle with issues around childcare and flexibility. This is compounded during pregnancy and in the first year after birth and affects both fathers and mothers. Adjusting to life as a new family can be challenging and parents benefit from support.
¹ Deloitte Access Economics – The cost of perinatal depression in Australia (October 2012)
² PwC PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia – Creating a mentally healthy workplace: Return on investment analysis (March 2014)
³ beyondblue – State of workplace mental health in Australia (June 2014)