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    Youth mental health and wellbeing key to the future of employment

    Duration: 1:46

    ● Research by Medibank reveals almost half of all young people lack confidence finding work because of the impacts of COVID
    ● 1 in 2 surveyed 16 to 24-year-olds said they don’t feel they have the networks to get a job
    ● A third believe they will never catch up on missed learning and are consequently making different career choices
    ● Almost 60% of young people are more nervous about joining the workforce

    Ahead of the crucial last day of the Jobs and Skills Summit, health company Medibank convened a gathering of business leaders and health professionals to put youth mental health and wellbeing on the agenda.

    Research by Medibank highlights the significant impact two years of disrupted learning and work experience has had on a generation of young people entering the workforce.

    Medibank Group Executive - CEO Health Services, Dr Andrew Wilson said business leaders and key decision makers have the opportunity to step up and help restore young peoples’ career confidence and to create supportive work environments where they can thrive and reach their full potential.

    “There is a critical need to shine a spotlight on the mental health and wellbeing of the future of the Australian workforce,” said Dr Wilson.

    Our research shows young people feel less confident about joining the workforce as COVID has impacted their learning, their health and their relationships.

    The consequences of inadequately addressing youth mental health and wellbeing now will only compound in coming years,” he said.

    Health insurance claims data from Medibank and ahm has found the number of 16 to 29-year-olds being admitted to hospital for mental health-related treatment has risen more than 31% over the past 5 years.

    Medibank’s Young Minds @ Work breakfast provided business leaders with guidance on ways organisations can provide positive mental health and wellbeing environments and know how to identify and support struggling team members.

    headspace’s National Clinical Advisor Simon Dodd, who gave the keynote address, said prioritising mental health and wellbeing in the workplace delivers both social and economic dividends.

    “Mentally healthy workplaces experience three times less absenteeism compared to less supportive workplaces, with absenteeism and presenteeism costing the Australian economy $17 billion each year,” said Simon Dodd.

    “I’m really encouraged to see business leaders willing to expand their mental health toolkit, lead by example and start to have healthy conversations with their employees,” he said.

    Youth mental health advocate Jordan Frith believes many young people are considering a company’s approach to mental health when determining where to work.

    “It’s no longer just about how much a company is willing to pay you, young people are now seriously considering an organisation’s approach to mental health and if they can provide a safe and supportive work environment,” said the 22-year-old.

    "The Jobs and Skills Summit is an opportunity to recognise the significant impact youth mental health and wellbeing has on our economy and our future.”

    Medibank is prioritising the mental health and wellbeing of its team members through its progressive way of working that encourages employees to connect with each other and approach to flexibility. Employees can also access a range of programs and tools such as access to a wellbeing coach, apps including Smiling Mind and Uprise, Good Health Days, digital detoxes and more.

    For customers and the community, Medibank provides a range of mental health and wellbeing support for through its Better Minds website and app and Live Better program. Eligible customers can access the 24/7 Mental Health Support line (1800 644 325) and can claim for counselling and psychology services both face to face and via telehealth. Medibank is also running a telepsychology clinic pilot in conjunction with Myhealth GPs and Medinet.

    About the research The research was conducted by Lewers Research on behalf of Medibank. One-on-one interviews were held in January 2022 and a survey among (n=1,575) people across Australia was conducted in March 2022

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