High-Risk Industries & Demographics for Poor Mental Health

High-risk industries for mental health in Australia include Agriculture; Public Administration and Safety; and Transport, Postal and Warehousing. In New Zealand, occupational stress and depression in farming and agriculture is estimated to be costing billions.

Industries with low mental health wellbeing often correlate to lower instances of physical safety (Agriculture scores particularly low marks, as does Administrative and Support Services), but not always. It’s easy to understand why: workers are easily stressed when they can be easily injured.

What does it mean to be a high-risk industry? High-risk industries for mental health are industries that are inherently more stressful.

  1. Agriculture involves long hours and potentially dangerous machinery. Drought and fires have affected the Australian agricultural industry and upset its stability and sustainability. Workers need more time to themselves as well as assurances that their positions are secure.
  2. Public Administration and Safety includes policymakers in high-stress positions, as well as police officers, security officers, and guards who may be frequently at risk. Anxiety, depression, and PTSD are all common. Those in this industry need more mental health support and need it to be readily accessible.

Transport, Postal, and Warehousing, as an industry, is one of the areas that has been most financially stressed in recent years due to its susceptibility to economic shocks. and is one of the areas in which employees themselves are feeling much of this stress. In fact, studies find that 1 in 4 workers report that they are dealing with financial stress. Employers need to be able to promise employees stability, or at minimum transparency, to counter this.The more demanding the work is, the more employee mental health needs to be addressed and protected. When employees sense danger lurking around every corner, they don’t feel supported by their employers — and they don’t feel valued by their organization.

There are limitations to what an employer can reasonably accomplish. An employer cannot make a high-risk industry low-risk. But employers can do everything under their control to reduce the risks that are present. Employers should understand what makes their industry high-risk, and tackle the challenges that are unique to them — by giving their employees support with the problems that they face.

Demographics and Culture as Key Risk Factors

In addition to generally high-risk industries, there are also high-risk demographics. The Maori population is almost twice as likely to experience mental illness. In Australia, the Indigenous population is far more likely to experience depression. More than 30 percent of the Aboriginal population reports mental distress, compared to 20 percent for other Australians.

Another large demographic that is less likely as a whole to seek help with mental health? Men.

For high-risk populations, mental illness increases often have to deal with the unique challenges those populations are experiencing. While employers and HR managers may not be able to address societal problems directly, nor the difficulties inherent to their industries, they can provide their employees with the mental health tools they need to cope, and they can be understanding about these mental health challenges.

Beyond legal duties and obligations, employers in high-risk industries need to:

  • Provide employees with mental health resources.
  • Make employees aware of the resources available.
  • Ensure that employees have easy access to those resources.

Thus, even though the employers may not be able to eliminate the risks inherent to the industry, they can give employees the tools that they need to cope with the high-risk work they are engaged in.

What challenges does it tackle?

Reducing onsite accidents

These cost Australian businesses $61.2B a year.

Reducing onsite accidents

These cost Australian businesses $61.2B a year.

Reducing onsite accidents

These cost Australian businesses $61.2B a year.

Reducing onsite accidents

These cost Australian businesses $61.2B a year.

How it works

Our qualified professionals coach and educate your team to recognise your body’s warning signs that signal it’s time for a physical and mental reset. Delivered onsite, your team can put theory into action within their own work environment, which increases uptake and memorability while recruiting champions from within your team helps the change become part of the culture.

We understand every workplace is unique, so we use a 4-step approach to understand exactly where we need to focus.