WHY DOES THIS MATTER?

“There’s never been a more important time for us to prioritise the wellbeing of social changemakers.”

Julia Keady, Founding Director, The Community Well

THE SITUATION'S NOT GREAT

The almost normalised stress, anxiety and burnout in the social sector has been simmering away for too long.

If the people that turn up every day to work and volunteer in our sector are healthy and strong, then it follows that the impact we create will be greater. Put simply, we have a better chance of shifting the dial on the issues we care about. Working in the social sector is exacerbated by constraints including funding uncertainty, high workloads and trying to do more with less.

Lack of wellbeing can show up as stress, anxiety, depression, compassion fatigue (stress related mental injury), frontline or vicarious trauma.

This can lead to absenteeism, extended leave periods, mental health injury / claims, high rates of employee and volunteer turnover, high HR costs. These ultimately affect the communities we serve.

Despite these challenges, very few social sector professionals leave the sector. In this, the issue has not subsided, but merely become culturally acceptable.

Lack of wellbeing creates a lack of resilience.

This poses a threat for our sector’s sustainability, and its capability to address future challenges and disasters.

"I have been diagnosed with early exhaustion and burnout and simply need a break / relief for time out."
RESET 2020 National Research Study participant.

IT'S TIME TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT

We're collectively building a solution - The Social Sector Wellbeing and Resilience Hub for a mentally healthy and resilient social sector.

WHAT'S THE VISION?

Can you imagine our thriving and well social sector? Where our people that get up every day to work and volunteer are flourishing and at their best? In Australia that's 5 million volunteers1 and 1.2 million employees2. They have strong workplace connections, fair workloads, and are supported to stay safe. Conflict is dealt with promptly and fairly, there is zero tolerance to bullying and harassment. Whilst there are natural ups and downs, work is a good and inclusive place to be. As a result productivity increases, HR costs reduce, and the world is a safer and more equitable place for all.
"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."
Maya Angelou

WE REALLY CAN'T AFFORD NOT TO ACT

Cost Savings

Cost savings have to be made but it's a false economy to neglect looking after staff.3
Workplaces with poor psychological working conditions also accrue 43% more sick days per month. Mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, cost Australian businesses about $6 billion dollars each year through absenteeism, reduced work performance, increased turnover rates and compensation claims.4

Mental Health Claims

Work pressure, harassment / bullying, and exposure to occupational or workplace violence accounted for more than half (51%) of serious mental health claims.5
More than 55% of employees who go on leave because of a psychological injury are still away from their jobs after 6 months, compared with 23% for physical injuries.6

Performance

A 20% reduction in a person’s wellbeing leads to a 10% drop in their performance.7

Return on Investment

See Heads Up for their return on investment tool.

More

See Heads Up for more statistics.

1.Volunteering Australia (2022), Key Volunteering Statistics, accessed December 09, 2022
2.Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (2018), Australian Charities Report 2018, accessed October 31, 2022
3.Katie Duckworth (2015), Director at Be The Change Coaching and Training, UK
5.Safe Work Australia, National Dataset for Compensation-based Statistics 3rd Edition (Revision 1)
6.Towell, N (June 28, 2021), Workers Mental Health Claims help put WorkCover back in the red, The Age
7.Goetzel, R, & Ozminkowski, R. (2008) ‘The health and cost benefits of work site health-promotion programs.’ Annual Review of Public Health, 29:303-23 doi: 10.1146

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land and waters and their knowledge of the places where we gather to collaborate and strengthen communities. In our work, we recognise the importance of Country, not just as a place, but how it also maintains community, family, kin, lore and language. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. This always was, always will be, Aboriginal land. We support the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

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