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NSW Government hosts forum to highlight young workers' mental health

Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean

Young workers’ mental health is the focus of a joint forum at the University of New South Wales today.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said SafeWork NSW is co-hosting the ‘Let’s talk Young Workers’ Mental Health Collaboration’ along with the university, and the Mental Health Commission of NSW.

“There are more than half a million young workers in NSW so understanding how they think, feel and operate can make an enormous difference to workplace mental health,” he said.

“Today is about fostering open conversations between young workers and their employers so they feel better supported in the workplace.”

Mr Kean said speakers at the event include 2017 Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year Mitch McPherson, who established the SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY suicide prevention charity following the suicide of his younger brother Ty, and NSW Advocate for Children and Young People Andrew Johnson.

“Beyondblue Youth Ambassador Tara Lal, CEO of Youthsafe Warren Johnson, and Jim Kelly from SafeWork NSW will also hold a panel discussion at today’s event,” he said.

“The range of speakers also demonstrates how mental health does not discriminate, and can affect people of any age in any place – including the workplace.

“In fact, one in six working-age people suffer from a mental illness, with ABS data also revealing that 26 per cent of people aged 16-24 have had a mental disorder in any given year.

“Without proper workplace support in place, mental health illness can cause greater absenteeism, increased compensation claims, and higher turnover.

“Today’s seminar is all about hearing people’s experiences, and helping business find ways to better support the mental health of young workers.”

To view a live stream of the seminar visit: