Mental health is estimated to cost Australian workplaces $17 billion per year. Workplace Options (WPO) has now launched in Australia, and is investing in the market to help more employees access wellbeing care.
Human-centered wellness solutions at work
In 2020, the Australian Productivity Commission estimated that mental health conditions cost Australian workplaces $17 billion per year due to absenteeism, presenteeism and other symptoms of poor psychological safety.
Mental health, just like physical health, impacts everyone, every day and everywhere, across countries, cultures and communities. Improving access to quality care is a key challenge for employers embracing borderless teams.
Workplace Options (WPO), a leading provider of holistic wellbeing solutions for more than 75 million people around the world, acquired the EAP business of the Veretis Group, a provider of wellness services across Australia, on October 31, 2022.
Veretis is a wellness company that supports the mental health and wellbeing of more than 200,000 people through its international network of more than 300 highly qualified and experienced psychologists and consultants.
Prior to the agreement, Veretis was WPO’s local provider of employee assistance programs in Australia. WPO’s decision to invest in the Australian market and launch WPO Australia demonstrates the company’s commitment to seeking new ways to help more people access immediate emotional, physical and practical wellbeing care.
“A person’s holistic health is our top priority,” says Alan King, President and CEO of WPO. “Our investment in Veretis and the Australian market will widen WPO’s ability to lead innovative wellbeing solutions that drive positive outcomes for individuals and organisations, while transforming people’s lives for the better.
“Our team of trusted, credentialed providers and professionals are ready to serve your most valuable asset – your people.”
The current state of workplace wellbeing
According to recent data from the Veretis EAP business, 53 per cent of Australian employees are seeking help for personal problems. Emotional health and relationship concerns are the most common presenting issues.
A September report by Microsoft showed that Australian workers also suffered higher levels of burnout than other countries; 62 per cent of Australians reported feeling burned out compared to a global average of 48 per cent, and 66 per cent of managers in Australia experienced burnout compared to a global average of 53 per cent.
“Having our EAP business with WPO means that Veretis can help more people receive high-quality mental health care and ensure employers can successfully address the psychological safety of their employees,” says Oliver Brecht, Managing Director, Veretis.
“WPO Australia will provide the resources of a global company while maintaining our local, personal touch. WPO truly stands apart from its competitors because WPO is a true human-centered wellbeing solution. Its services achieve positive outcomes because, when an individual connects to their support, they can immediately speak with an actual person.”
WPO recognised the growing need for entering and investing in the cutting-edge Australian market. In terms of broader mental health issues across Australia, the recently released 2021 Census revealed a steep increase in mental health prevalence. Key data points from the Census included:
- 43.7 per cent of Australians had experienced a mental health disorder at some time in their life.
- 21.4 per cent had a mental health disorder lasting 12 months or more.
- Anxiety was the most common disorder (16.8 per cent), followed by affective disorder (7.5 per cent) and substance use disorder (3.3 per cent).
- Young people in particular were highly affected, with 39.6 per cent of people aged 16-24 having a 12-month mental disorder.
- Females experienced higher rates of anxiety and affective disorders than males (21 per cent compared with 12.4 per cent, and 8.5 per cent compared with 6.2 per cent respectively).
About Workplace Options (WPO)
Founded in 1982, Workplace Options (WPO) is a leading, global, independent provider of holistic wellbeing solutions. Through customised programs and a comprehensive global network of credentialed providers and professionals, WPO supports individuals to become healthier, happier and more productive both personally and professionally. Trusted by 51 per cent of Fortune 500 companies, WPO delivers high-quality care digitally and in-person to more than 75 million people across 116,000 organisations in more than 200 countries and territories.