The heightened risks associated with isolation, reduced incomes and physical health challenges have exacerbated the mental health challenge across Australia. This keynote explored the challenges posed and solutions available.

SPEAKERS:

Georgie Harman, chief executive, Beyond Blue
Moderator: Colin Tate, chief executive, Conexus Financial

Key Takeaways

  • Strain on mental health was escalating over the past few years. This has been exacerbated by the bushfires and now coronavirus and lockdowns. Given the societal desire to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 the measures of physically distancing and enforced disruption to the economy are likely to be long-lasting.
  • We should be vigilant towards mental fatigue, in ourselves and others, as this emergency will continue for many more months to come.
  • Loneliness can cause mental health challenges so we should all think about our communities and do what we can to extend interaction and concern to those around us.
  • Businesses are involved in an opportunity to rethink office life and can benefit from a more diverse and engaged workforce now that remote working has been so widely adopted.
  • Where companies lease real estate they can now frame that space as a community hub for activities and social interaction rather than the narrow confines of solely office space for a 9 to 5 environment.
  • Leaders should be vigilant about the challenges faced by those around them and seeking to offer empathy and comfort.

Poll Results

The superannuation industry has appropriately considered the risks to mental health from COVID-19 for members and professionals alike

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree
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