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Mental health

For: Employers and managers Advocates Information seekers

There are supports and resources available if you or someone you know has mental health concerns.

Mental health is a state of wellbeing which allows a person to cope with the normal stresses of life, realise their own abilities, work productively, and make a contribution to their community (World Health Organization).


Mental health explained

Mental health exists on a continuum from coping to not coping, affecting how people think, feel, and act in everyday life.

Mental health continuum model includes coping, reacting and not coping. Coping is coping with normal mood fluctuations, and able to focus and be productive. Reacting is nervous, angry or distracted, and disrupted sleep or unable to focus. Not coping is expressive anxiety and stress, and unable to sleep or concentrate.

For immediate help

If you have an emergency in Australia and need immediate emergency assistance, call 000 or 112 (satellite phone).

For immediate counselling, advice and support

OrganisationContact
Lifeline
Phone: 13 11 14
Lifeline Text (Crisis Supporter) on 0477 13 11 14 (12pm – midnight AEDT)
Lifeline Chat online (7 pm – midnight AEDT)
Beyond Blue Phone: 1300 224 636
Website: Beyond Blue
MensLine
Phone: 1300 789 978
Website: MensLine Australia
Suicide Call Back Service

For search and rescue services

To contact Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) for search and rescue services use the following 24-hour helpline numbers.

IndustryContact
Maritime
Within Australia phone 1800 641 792
Outside Australia phone +61 2 6230 6811
Aviation Within Australia phone 1800 815 257
Outside Australia phone +61 2 6230 6899

How work can affect mental health and wellbeing

Many factors can contribute to poor mental health including problems at home, physical injury and issues at work.

Work is generally beneficial to our psychological wellbeing and mental health. It can provide:

  • a sense of purpose
  • an opportunity to use and develop our skills
  • opportunities for social interaction.

There can be some circumstances, however, where a person’s mental health can be impacted by work or other factors.

In our industry, we can face specific work conditions, such as isolation and distance from family and community supports, that can also contribute to mental health issues.

Workplace mental health statistics

  • 1 in 5 Australian workers have a mental health condition
  • Poor mental health costs Australian businesses $11 billion per year
  • Every $1 invested in a mentally healthy workplace has a Return on Investment of $2.30.

What you can do

We all play a part in:

  • welcoming and supporting people with a mental health condition in our workplace
  • creating an environment in which people are confident that they have support
  • reducing mental health stigma in our workplace.

We provide some tips and resources to understand, promote and support psychological resilience and mental health and wellbeing.

Supporting myself and others

You can:

  • seek help if you feel you need it and support your colleagues to do the same
  • make sure you report any risk to health and safety you identify a risk to health to your master and/or supervisor
  • raise psychosocial hazards and risks through workplace consultation processes.

Resources and supports you can contact are:

Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.

The Black Dog Institute

The Black Dog Institute is working to save lives as the only medical research institute in Australia to focus on mental health across every life stage.

Lifeline

Lifeline is a national charity providing Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

If you or someone you know needs support:

SANE Australia

SANE Australia is a national mental health charity making a real difference in the lives of people affected by complex mental health issues through research, support and advocacy.

Mission to Seafarers Australia

Mission to Seafarers Australia supports the maritime industry through seafaring centres and volunteer contacts at various ports.

R U OK?

R U OK? is a public health promotion charity that encourages people to stay connected and have conversations that can help others through difficult times in their lives. Their work focuses on building the motivation, confidence and skills of the help-giver – the person who can have a meaningful conversation with someone who is struggling with life.

SuperFriend

Together with industry partners, SuperFriend designs and delivers mental health initiatives that enable workplaces to thrive. Individuals can use a free, confidential module to check-in on their wellbeing, get tips on managing their mental health, and create a self-care action plan.

Head to Health

Head to Health helps all Australians access the mental health and wellbeing services that are right for them. It makes it easier to navigate and choose the most suitable care options, whether that’s face-to-face, via phone, or online.

QLife

QLife provides Australia-wide anonymous, LGBTIQ+ peer support and referral for people wanting to talk about a range of issues including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships. QLife services are free and include both telephone and webchat support, delivered by trained LGBTIQ+ community members across the country.

For managers and employers

To reduce the risk and impact of mental health issues at work, employers need to raise awareness and build an inclusive workplace culture and effective systems that promote mental health and wellbeing at work.

Employers can:

  • consult employees on matters that relate to their health and safety
  • conduct risk assessments for the psychosocial hazards relevant to your workplace
  • provide and promote access to an employee assistance program (EAP)
  • appropriately manage the risk of fatigue
  • support employees when they show symptoms of stress or mental health issues.

Resources and supports that can be useful for employers are:

Australian Seafarers Welfare Council

The Australian Seafarers’ Welfare Council (ASWC) promotes seafarer welfare services in Australian ports to support and protect seafarers. ASWC’s role extends to helping coordinate port and regional welfare committees and playing a leadership role.

International Seafarers Welfare Assistance Network (ISWAN)

ISWAN works to promote and support the welfare of seafarers all over the world and provides online resources for seafarers and their employers.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)

AMSA’s mission is to ensure safe vessel operations, combatting marine pollution, and rescuing people in distress. As Australia’s national maritime safety regulator, AMSA publishes maritime safety information and resources to promote maritime safety for seafarers, operators and other stakeholders involved in vessel operations.

Safe Work Australia (SWA)

SWA develops national policy regarding work health and safety and workers’ compensation. The website provides information, videos, seminars and podcasts on mental health as well as helpful statistics and case studies.

Phoenix Australia - Centre for Post-traumatic Mental Health

Phoenix Australia’s internationally recognised research program advances knowledge of the impact of trauma on the health and wellbeing of trauma survivors, their families and the community.

Comcare

Comcare provides information and links to resources for employers including:

Mentally Healthy Workplaces

The Mentally Healthy Workplaces platform aims to connect people to the great work and resources already underway. It aims to inspire people to take action and become part of a community of knowledge. The platform provides curated resources for mentally healthy workplaces from a variety of credible organisations.

Headsup

Heads Up is all about giving individuals and businesses the tools to create more mentally healthy workplaces. Headsup encourages everyone in the workplace to play their part in creating a mentally healthy working environment, take care of their own mental health, and look out for their colleagues.

Events and engagement opportunities

A range of events hosted by specialist organisations such as the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association focus on a broad range of topics relating to mental health, mental wellness and the development of mentally healthy workplaces.

Comcare’s Mental Health Community of Practice is held twice a year for workers and workplaces to come together to discuss issues and current evidence-based strategies related to workplace mental health. You can view previous presentations and access other relevant resources through the website.

The National Mental Health Commission provides evidence and advice on ways to continuously improve Australia’s mental health and suicide prevention system, and act as a catalyst for change to achieve those improvements. Resources include:


More information

The objective of our Mental Health Strategy (PDF, 216.0 KB) is that the Seacare Authority is recognised as a trusted body for the availability and promotion of mental health information in the maritime sector.

To make an enquiry, or to provide us with some feedback on this page, email us at seacare@comcare.gov.au.

Page last reviewed: 30 June 2023
Mental health
resource centre
Access supports and guidance if you or someone you know has mental health concerns.

Find out how to support yourself and others.

Seacare
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.seacare.gov.au

Date printed 21 May 2024

https://www.seacare.gov.au/safe-work/mental-health