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Mental Health and Work: Australia

image of Mental Health and Work: Australia

Tackling mental ill-health of the working-age population is a key issue for labour market and social policies in OECD countries. OECD governments increasingly recognise that policy has a major role to play in keeping people with mental ill-health in employment or bringing those outside of the labour market back to it, and in preventing mental illness. This report on Australia is the ninth and last in a series of reports looking at how the broader education, health, social and labour market policy challenges identified in Sick on the Job? Myths and Realities about Mental Health and Work (OECD, 2012) are being tackled in a number of OECD countries. It concludes that policy thinking in Australia shows well-advanced awareness both of the costs of mental illness for society as a whole and of the health benefits of employment. However, challenges remain in: making employment issues a concern of the health care services; helping young people succees in their future working lives; making the workplace a safe, supportive psychosocial environment; and better designing and targeting employment services for jobseekers with mental ill-health.

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Mental health support for young Australians and their transition from school to work

This chapter assesses the capacity of Australia’s school and youth care system to support mental wellbeing among young people and assure timely support for those who face mental health problems. It then goes on to discuss actions to prevent early school leaving. The chapter ends with an examination of measures to ease the school-to-work transition and efforts to stimulate labour market participation among young adults with mental disorders.

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