COMBATTING mental health with be the key message delivered this month during WorkSafe Tasmania Month 2013.

Throughout October, the Tasmanian Government will support a number of events aiming to raise awareness about workplace health and safety, and reduce work-related injury, illness and death.

Workplace relations minister David O’Byrne said the WorkSafe Tasmania Month events will teach participants how to improve safety practices and protect well-being in the workplace.

“For the first time ever, the Month will feature tradeshows in Hobart and Launceston to provide Tasmanians with easy access to practical tools and resources for managing safety in the workplace,” Mr O’Byrne said.

“There are few things in life more important than a loved one’s or your own health and wellbeing.

“That’s why we are urging all Tasmanians to get involved in WorkSafe Month to learn new ways to be safe and healthy in the workplace.”

Mr O’Byrne said mental health is a key focus after new figures showed more Tasmanians were suffering workplace injuries caused by mental disease.

“Mental health has become one of the top five causes of injuries in Tasmanian workplaces,” he said.

“In southern Tasmania, 268 people suffered mental diseases, followed by 86 in the north-west and 59 in the north.

“With nearly half of the adult population experiencing a mental illness at some point in their lives, to think it only happens outside work is burying our heads in the sand.

“Providing a healthy and safe workplace benefits all workers, including those with a mental illness.

Mr O’Byrne encouraged the involvement of businesses, noting that health and wellbeing programs are recognised for increasing employee morale, reducing workplace injuries and improving attraction and retention rates.

“Healthy employees are more productive, more engaged in their work, have fewer sick leave days and have greater levels of energy and concentration,” Mr O’Byrne said.

For a copy of the WorkSafe Tasmania Month Program of Events or to register to attend an event, click here.